The announcement, published in North Korea’s state news outlet KCNA, read Kim Yo Jong
He is now a member of the State Affairs Commission (SAC), the country’s governing body headed by his brother.
Kim Yo Jong was already one of the most important political figures
and a key advisor to his brother, but a position on the SAC is the highest official position he has ever held.
Seven others were promoted alongside her as part of a SAC shakeup, although Kim Yo Jong was the only woman. Nine members were removed or demoted, including 82-year-old Pak Pong Ju, responsible for Kim Jong Un’s economic policy for the past decade.
Ri Pyong Chol, the North Korean conductor weapons program
and Kim Jong Un’s senior military commander was demoted. His place was taken by military general Pak Jong Chon, who had been overseeing the development of new weapons for the country.
Earlier this week, Pak oversaw a test of what North Korea claimed was its first hypersonic missile
, which, if true, has the potential to be one of the world’s fastest and most accurate weapons, and could be equipped with a nuclear warhead, experts say.
Why is Kim Yo Jong’s promotion significant?
By Kim Yo Jong
The rise to the country’s central committee of decision-makers appears to officially consolidate its role in North Korea’s leadership.
She is believed to be one of her brother’s most powerful and trusted confidants. Last year, the South Korean National Intelligence Service evaluated her to be
the country’s “de facto second-in-command”, but her official status has always it has not been clear
As North Korea’s top propagandist, Kim Yo Jong was the face of the country’s delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he met with South Korean President Moon Jae-In. She was credited
with helping lay the groundwork for first summit
between Moon and her brother, for which she had a seat at the table, and was at Kim Jong Un’s house side in singapore
when he met the then president of the United States, Donald Trump.
In 2020, South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers that it had been put in charge of relations with the South and the United States.
More recently, as a department deputy director of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party, she has done scathing public statements
on inter-Korean relations, the new Biden Administration
, and defended North Korean missile launches.
Last week, Kim Yo Jong demanded that the South make “the right choice” if it really wants reconciliation and the development of inter-Korean relations, including another summit. He also warned the United States and South Korea to stop their “hostile” policy against North Korea, before discussions can resume on a proposal by the South Korean president to declare an end to the war between the North and the South.
But Kim Yo Jong’s rise to the top has not been easy.
Earlier this year, she was removed from office as an alternate member of the powerful North Korean Politburo and demoted from “first deputy director of department” to “deputy director of department.”
Analysts at that moment he said his apparent degradation
it may have more to do with Kim Jong Un’s approach to reorganizing the politburo to include more economic experts. Others speculated that she may have been criticized for her handling of the inter-Korean relationship last summer, when she led the North Korean armed forces to blow up an $ 8 million joint liaison office
in Kaesong City to express Pyongyang’s discontent with Seoul.
CNN’s Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report.