N.Korea's Nasty Young Rulers

      November 28, 2014 12:46

      Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, had been appointed a vice director in the Workers Party Central Committee. Until now, she was referred to only as a "senior official." The position is equivalent to a vice minister in the South. But Kim Yo-jong is only 27 years old. Her father, former leader Kim Jong-il, was appointed vice director in the party when he was 32, and her aunt, Kim Kyong-hui when she was 30.

      The North Korean press did not say which department Yo-jong is in charge of, but officials here believe the post must be fairly important.

      Speculation about her role started when she was spotted accompanying Kim Jong-un at a Supreme People's Assembly event in March. Key aides Choe Ryong-hae, a secretary of the Workers Party, and Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong-so were also Kim's side. Since then, she has accompanied her brother on 12 official functions.

      Some North Korea watchers believe Kim Yo-jong is well on the way to becoming the No. 2 in the reclusive state. When Kim disappeared from public view for around 40 days in September and October, some press reports suggested she was effectively at the helm. The fate of North Korea's 25 million people and the weapons of mass destruction lie in the hands of a pair of spoiled brats who have known nothing but privilege in a country of dire poverty and repression. 

      There is no way that they can empathize with the suffering of the North Korean people. Indeed they appear to have inherited the depravity and viciousness of their father and grandfather, as shown in their brutal treatment of their uncle, former eminence grise Jang Song-taek, who was tortured and executed by firing squad. The fate of his wife, their aunt Kim Kyong-hui, is a mystery.

      Judging by the nasty tempers of Kim and his sister, the North is highly likely to resort to more insane, belligerent behavior in response to the mounting pressure from the international community to improve its human rights record. Kim has already forced North Koreans to rally "spontaneously" in protests lambasting the UN recommendation to haul him before the International Criminal Court. These two need watching very closely.

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