December 06, 2021 11:04
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Yo-jong, who acts as his diplomatic attack dog-in-chief, has not been spotted in public for 54 days.
Intelligence officials here have no idea where she is and speculation is swirling, ranging from health problems to a strategic demotion as North Korea prepares tentative overtures to the international community.
Kim Yo-jong's last public appearance was on Oct. 11, when she showed up at a weapons expo in Pyongyang marking the 73rd anniversary of Workers Party.
One intelligence source said, "In spite of the coronavirus pandemic, Kim Yo-jong not only took part in public activities but was also spotted frequently behind the scenes until the first half of this year, but now we can't locate her."
But another source said, "Kim Yo-jong disappeared for 66 days last year and appeared again." The next big public event in the North is the 10th anniversary of former leader Kim Jong-il's death on Dec. 17.
Or perhaps she is merely busy. Experts believe Kim Yo-jong is spearheading efforts to build a personality cult around Kim Jong-un, who marked 10 years in office this year.
Kim In-tae at the Institute for National Security Strategy said, "The propaganda department in charge of creating a cult of personality around Kim Jong-un is in high gear. There are key political events scheduled in 2022 that happen once every decade and her role is particularly in focus."
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