Kim Jong-un is to send his sister to South Korea for the Winter Olympics, it has emerged.
The North Korean dictator wants his trusted younger sibling Kim Yo-jong to form part of a 22-strong high-level delegation at the games, which start on this week in PyeongChang.
It comes days after she was reported to have been promoted by the tyrant to head the reclusive country’s powerful state security apparatus.
Kim Jong-un (right) is to send his sister Kim Yo-jong (centre) to South Korea for the Winter Olympics, it has emerged
The North Korean dictator wants his trusted younger sibling Kim Yo-jong (right) to form part of a 22-strong high-level delegation at the games, which start on Thursday in PyeongChang
News of Kim Yo-Jong’s elevation first emerged in December, when she was spotted next to the senior Kim at a concert in the capital Pyongyang. Who you sit next to is seen as a key indicator of where you stand in the leadership hierarchy of North Korea, a country where optics are all-important.
North Korea’s delegation at the Olympics will visit the South for three days starting on Friday.
Ceremonial leader Kim Yong Nam, leader of the country’s parliament, will lead the group in moves that have raised the prospect of direct talks between the hermit state and America.
South Korean officials are hoping to hold talks with Nam, the highest-ranking official to visit since 2014, with the goal of working toward peace on the Korean peninsula.
It comes days after she was reported to have been promoted by the tyrant to head the reclusive country’s powerful state security apparatus. The pair are pictured together in 2016
In January it was reported that Yo-jong’s new position means that she heads the State Security Department overseeing police and prosecutions
US Vice President Mike Pence will also be attending the games, raising the possibility of direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
In January it was reported that Yo-jong’s new position means that she heads the State Security Department overseeing police and prosecutions.
The department has been under party control since its previous head Jang Song-taek – Kim Jong-un’s uncle – was executed in 2013.
News of the appointment of Kim Yo-jong, believed to be in her early 30s, was the culmination of weeks of speculation surrounding the role. It is thought that she was promoted to North Korea’s politburo – the country’s top decision-making body – in October.
Kim Yong Nam, leader of North Korea’s parliament, will attend the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics this week along with a high-level delegation
Kim, 90, will be the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the South since 2014, and it is hoped he will attend peace talks with President Moon Jae-in
Kim has held his position as ceremonial leader of the North since 1998, when the country was run by Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il
Her rise has made her one of North Korea’s most influential women, and could mean that she she has replaced her aunt Kim Kyong-hee, who was a key decision-maker during the tenure of her father, the former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
Kim Yo-jong is the youngest daughter of the late leader, and shares the same mother as Kim Jong-un and brother Kim Jong-chol, according to North Korea Leadership Watch.
Born in 1987, she is stated.to be very close to Mr Kim – four years her senior. The pair lived and studied in Berne, Switzerland at the same time.
She is believed to be married to the son of Choe Ryong-hae, the powerful party secretary.
One of her main roles up until now has been to protect her brother’s image, taking a key role in the Worker’s Party propaganda department in 2014, where she is believed to have managed his itineraries, attended public ceremonies and served as a political adviser.
In October 2015 she was reported to have been sacked from the propaganda department by Mr Kim for doing a poor job.