Kim Jong Un’s younger sister Kim Yo Jong has disappeared from public view, which could be another sign that she has taken more control over the regime, an expert said.
The North Korean despot’s sister, who has not been spotted since July 27, may lie to offset speculation he has ceded some of his authority to her, South Korean media outlet Chosun Ilbo reported.
Her absence comes as South Korean spies have revealed that she is now his de facto “second in command”, although she has not been named as his successor.
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“In the past, anyone was deprived of their position when they were described as the No. 2 person in the North,” said Professor Nam Sung-wook at Korea University.
“There must be some semblance of checks and balances, although Kim Yo Jong is a member of the family.”
She was last seen when she stood next to the Hermit Kingdom’s Honcho last month as he gave commemorative pistols to military leaders on the 67th anniversary of the armistice of the Korean War.
But she did not appear in the state-approved photos released Tuesday of Kim at a high-level meeting to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for a typhoon.
The photos emerged after a former South Korean official claimed the dictator had fallen into a coma.
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Her sister has also been absent from other meetings this summer, although she is now an alternate member of the Politburo, the main body of the ruling party in North Korea, CNN reported.
Experts said the absences were unusual, but could be explained by her taking care of other business, the outlet reported.