Kim Jong Un's Sis Named to Senior Gov't Role

20-something Kim Yo Jong only one of leader's kin to hold official position
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2014 10:44 AM CST
Kim Jong Un's Sis Named to Senior Gov't Role
People watch a TV news program showing Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister, in Seoul, South Korea, on Nov. 27, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

First Kim Jong Un got rid of the cane—and now, in his latest reminder that he's the strong, all-powerful leader of North Korea, he's installed his sister in a Cabinet-level governmental position. The country's state media officially announced today that Kim Yo Jong has been named a departmental vice director within the Workers' Party's Central Committee, which some say could be a show of her increasing influence on her brother's administration, the AP reports. Rumored to be about 27, Kim Yo Jong had been referenced before as being involved with the party, but this announcement elevates her to a more senior level and positions her as the only relative of Kim Jong Un to hold an official governmental title, Reuters notes.

The news agency adds that her appointment makes this the third generation that's involved somehow in the running of North Korea: The AP notes that her late father, Kim Jong Il, often confided in his own sister, Kim Kyong Hui, who used to be a vital part of the current regime, along with her husband (we all know how that turned out). Kim Yo Jong is said to have attended a Swiss boarding school with Kim Jong Un and another older brother, who doesn't have any role in government that's been officially acknowledged, Reuters notes. Her addition to the employment roster indicates Kim Jong Un trusts her just enough to help him keep the North Korean people in awe of their family's dynasty—a mission he's also apparently trying to accomplish by making secondary-school students study his life and times for three years in order to graduate, the BBC reports. (More Kim Jong Un stories.)

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