Russia Has ‘No Reason’ To Think Kim Jong Un’s Sister to Lead N Korea

02-Jul-2020 Intellasia | NewsWeek | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Russia’s envoy to North Korea has downplayed speculation that the supreme leader of the secretive authoritarian state was preparing his sister to potentially succeed him as she took on a more prominent political role.

Moscow’s ambassador to Pyongyang Alexander Matsegora told the state-run Tass Russian News Agency on Monday there was “absolutely no reason to say that” Kim Yo Jong, who serves as first vice-department director of the ruling Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee “is being trained” to assume the role of supreme leader from her brother, Kim Jong Un. The elder, male Kim sibling inherited the position at the young age of 27 after his father’s death in 2011 and is believed to wield absolute authority in North Korea.

At 32, Kim Yo Jong has risen through the ranks of North Korea’s elusive bureaucracy and has most recently begun conducting direct diplomacy via messages and statements to the United States and South Korea, with which her country technically remains at war. Matsegora took note of her recent actions but cautioned against inferring she was being groomed to lead.

“She is a rather young person though she has serious political and foreign policy experience. She can be viewed as a well-established high-ranking statesperson,” Matsegora said. “This where I would put a full stop,” he added.

Commenting on her position within the Korean Workers’ Party, he said “it’s possible that the leader of the party and the country is the actual head of the department,” which would mean that Kim Yo Jong held “a rather high position.”

But as for considering her second-in-command, Matsegora said that “no one dares to call themselves number two in the country.” He added: “I think that if you asked comrade Kim Yo Jong whether she was number two, she would answer with a strong ‘no.’”


Category: Korea

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