September 19, 2016 11:56
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Yo-jong is apparently responsible for sending a string of high-ranking party officials off to humiliating "re-education."
Kim Yo-jong rose to the post of vice director of the Workers Party's Propaganda and Agitation Department in November 2014, where she is in charge of the personality cult surrounding her brother and party propaganda.
She immediately sent three elderly superiors off for re-education -- Kim Ki-nam (87), Ri Jae-il (81) and Choe Hwi (62), intelligence sources here said.
Re-education usually takes the form of labor at chicken farms and rural plantations. Kim Ki-nam, Ri Jae-il and Choe Hwi all technically rank higher than Kim Yo-jong in the department and are old enough to be her father or grandfather.
A source said the department, which used to be one of the two most powerful in the Workers Party along with the Organization and Guidance Department, has been "filled with lamentations since Kim Yo-jong became a part of it. It was unheard of for such senior officials to undergo re-education at the same time."
The chief of the state-run Rodong Sinmun daily has been replaced twice since Kim Yo-jong joined the department.
Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un's wife Ri Sol-ju remains a focus of fascination among ordinary North Koreans. In spite of crackdowns by security forces, North Koreans secretly watch old video clips of Ri performing as a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra. "Authorities are confiscating CDs and USBs with such videos, but people continue to watch them," a source said.
North Korean officials have been busy erasing records of Ri performing as a singer ever since her marriage to Kim became official knowledge in July 2012.
Ri has not been seen in public since March.
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