There are increasing signs that the immediate family of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are consolidating their positions in the regime, amid hints that his sister Yeo-jong has been promoted to a senior post.
The official [North] Korean Central News Agency on Thursday reported that the Kim Jong-un, his wife Ri Sol-ju and Kim Yeo-jong, watched a performance in Pyongyang on Wednesday.
In the status-conscious official media, the order of names speaks volumes, and KCNA named Yeo-jong ahead of Ri Jae-il, a senior official in charge of propaganda at the Workers Party. Previously she was named after Ri Jae-il.
That suggests Kim Yeo-jong, who has reportedly been in charge of an agency known as Room 38 under the Workers Party which manages the regime's coffers and businesses that earn foreign currency, has been promoted.
"Even Kim Jong-un was named after Army Chief Ri Yong-ho until he was designated successor to the throne," a source recalls. The source added that it is therefore highly likely the shift in the order of names signifies a promotion.
The fact that Ri Sol-ju was referred to as "comrade" rather than Kim's wife suggests that she also now holds an official position in the Workers Party.