Kim Yo-jong (Korean: 김여정, born 26 September 1987) is the
younger sister of North Korea's leader
Kim Jong-un and youngest
daughter of late leader Kim Jong-il. She is an alternate member of the
Politburo (Political Bureau) and the Director of the Propaganda and
Agitation Department of the
Workers' Party of Korea
Workers' Party of Korea (WPK).
1 Personal life
3 See also
Kim Yo-jong was born the daughter of
Kim Jong-il and his wife Ko
Yong-hui on 26 September 1987. She and her brother, Kim Jong-un,
are said to have a close relationship, due to shared isolated years
while studying together in
Switzerland from 1996 to 2000, and in North
Korea, "where social and emotional isolation appears to have been a
defining force in their early lives" possibly because their father
Kim Jong-Il wanted to bring them up away from the influence of his
father Kim Il-sung. She may have studied at the Kim Il-sung
Military University after her return. She also studied computer
Kim Il-sung University where she is said to have studied
with Kim Eun-gyong, the daughter of Japanese abductee Megumi
In January 2015, she reportedly married Choe Song, the second son
of government official Choe Ryong-hae. However, South Korean
government sources have since denied the accuracy of these reports.
Kim Yo-jong was expecting a child in May 2015. The father, not
identified, is thought to be a fellow alumnus of Kim Il-sung
university and either an official at
Room 39 of the Workers' Party of
Korea (WPK) or working at a military unit responsible for guarding the
She was first spotted at a photo session for participants at the 3rd
Conference of the WPK (ko) in September 2010, when she stood next
to her father's personal secretary and alleged mistress Kim Ok.
Kim Yo-jong was given much publicity during the funeral service for
Kim Jong-il in December 2011, when she appeared several times
alongside her brother
Kim Jong-un or leading funeral processions of
central officials, despite not even being a funeral committee member,
and she was never named. She was then reportedly given a position
National Defence Commission
National Defence Commission at the beginning of 2012 as tour
manager for Kim Jong-un, but has not appeared in news reports
except for November 2012, when the
Korean Central Television
Korean Central Television showed
Kim Jong-un at a military riding ground. She was
officially mentioned for the first time on 9 March 2014, as she
accompanied her brother in voting for the Supreme People's Assembly.
Kim Yo-jong was identified as a "senior official" of the WPK Central
Sources indicate that
Kim Jong-un may be grooming
Kim Yo-jong to
replace their aunt
Kim Kyong-hui (with whom
Kim Yo-jong is said to
have a good relationship) in her supporting role.
In October 2014, she was reported to have possibly taken over state
duties for her ailing brother while he underwent medical
Kim Yo-jong, South Korean President
Moon Jae-in and U.S. Vice
Mike Pence at the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony
On 28 November 2014, she was named vice director of the Workers
Party's Propaganda and Agitation Department (PAD), taking full
charge of this department on 24 July 2015, when she replaced Kim
Ki-nam. She also holds a vice-ministerial post, but her portfolio
is not known. She regularly accompanies
Kim Jong-un on his "field
She has been said to be the driving force behind the development of
her brother's cult of personality, modelled after that of their
grandfather, Kim Il-sung. This would help explain changes in the
way state policies are depicted in the media, as well as differences
in reporting. Thae Yong-ho, a North Korean defector and former
diplomat, said in 2017 that
Kim Yo-jong organised all major public
events in North Korea.
Kim Yo-jong was said to have encouraged her
brother to present an image of a "man of the people" with, for
example, rides on fairground attractions and his friendship with the
basketball star Dennis Rodman.
In January 2017, she was placed on the US Treasury's Specially
Designated Nationals List in response to human rights abuses in North
Kim Yo-jong was made an alternate member of the
politburo, only the second woman to be appointed to this
decision-making body. Her ascension to the country's supreme
governing body may indicate that she is Kim Jong-un’s replacement
for his aunt, Kim Kyong-hui, who has not played an active role in his
regime. It has also been hinted that her newly assigned position
would also put her in charge of the State Security Department.
Kim Yo-jong on the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony
On 9 February 2018, Kim attended the 2018 Winter Olympics opening
ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This was the first time that a
member of the ruling Kim dynasty had visited South Korea since the
Korean War. She attended the meeting with South Korean President
Moon Jae-in on 10 February, and revealed she was dispatched as a
special envoy of
Kim Jong-un and delivered a personally written letter
from Kim to Moon.
According to Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at
Dongguk University in Seoul, and others, the promotion of Kim Yo-jong
and others is a sign that "the
Kim Jong-un regime has ended its
co-existence with the remnants of the previous
Kim Jong-il regime by
carrying out a generational replacement in the party’s key elite
posts". Newsweek's Tom O'Connor echoed this opinion, writing
that Kim Yo-jong's rise to power was part of Kim Jong-un's overall
plan to appoint younger people in place of his father's older elites
who may have harboured doubts about the younger Kim Jong-un's ability
to lead North Korea.
Select[α] family tree of North Korea's ruling[β] Kim
^ To keep the tree of manageable size, it omits some members, e. g.,
brothers and sisters of Kim Jong-il.
^ Names of Supreme Leaders of the DPRK (and the name of the article
being viewed, if any) are in bold font.
^ Korean names often have a variety of transliterations into English,
which can be confusing. For example, "Kim Jong-chul" may also be
written "Gim Jeong-cheol" or "Kim Jŏng-ch'ŏl" among many other
Korean romanization for more information.
^ Huss, Kan; Frost, Clay. "North Korea's First Family: Mapping the
personal and political drama of the Kim clan". msnbc.com. Retrieved 20
January 2013. (Confirms many, but not all, of the birth and
death years. See individual articles for more references.)
^ Yan, Holly (16 February 2017). "The world's most mysterious family
tree: Kim Jong Un's secretive dynasty is full of drama, death". Design
by Alberto Mier. CNN. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
^ a b c Official biographies of
Kim Jong-suk and
Kim Jong-il give
birth years of 1917 and 1942, respectively.
Kim Ju-ae may have been
born in late 2012 or early 2013.
North Korea portal
Politics of North Korea
Women in North Korea
^ a b c "Kim Yo Jong".
North Korea Leadership Watch. May 6,
^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Kim Yo Jong: Who is the North Korean
leader's mysterious sister? News DW 08.10.2017". DW.COM.
^ a b c "North Korea's New Propagandist?". 38 North. 2015-08-14.
^ a b O'Connor, Tom (2018-02-09). "Who is Kim Jong Un's sister? Kim Jo
Yong is becoming North Korea's most powerful woman". Newsweek.
^ Kim Hee-Jin (March 19, 2014). "Abductee's daughter is favorite of
Kim's sister". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
^ (2 January 2015) Kim Jong Un’s Little Sister Married Son of Top
Regime Official, Report Says Wall Street Journal, Asia, Retrieved 16
^ "NK leader's sister weds son of Choe Ryong-hae: sources". Yonhap
^ a b "The
Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea –
Kim Jong-un's Sister to Have Baby in May". Chosun Ilbo. April 30,
2014. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
^ a b "KJI Youngest Daughter Working as Events Manager for KJU?".
North Korea Leadership Watch. South Korea. 22 July 2013. Archived from
the original on 22 December 2013.
^ "Kim Yo-jung is believed to have studied abroad and to share her
older brother's ambition". South Korea: Hankyoreh. 22 July 2013.
North Korea Newsletter No. 237". South Korea: Yonhap News Agency.
22 November 2013.
^ "Kim Jong Un Visits Kim Il Sung University of Politics and Takes
Part in Election of Deputy to SPA".
North Korea (site in Japan):
Korean Central News Agency. 9 March 2014. Archived from the original
on 10 March 2014.
Kim Jong-un 'preparing to purge aunt'". The Telegraph. United
Kingdom. 6 December 2013.
^ Silva, Cristina (2 October 2014). "Has Kim Yo-Jong Taken Over For
Kim Jong Un? Sister Assumes
North Korea State Duties While Brother
Undergoes Medical Treatment". International Business Times. Retrieved
3 October 2014.
^ North Korea's 'princess' moves closer to center of power
^ "Kim Jong-un's sister promoted to run 'idolisation projects' in
North Korea". The Guardian. UK. 24 July 2015.
^ "N. Korea's
Kim Jong-un executed 15 top officials: S. Korea spy
agency". Yahoo! News. AFP. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April
^ Sherwell, Phillip (2017-01-08). "Sister helps Kim strut his stuff as
key missile test looms". The Times. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
(Registration required (help)).
^ a b McCurry, Justin (2017-10-09). "Meet Kim Yo-jong, the sister who
is the brains behind Kim Jong-un's image". The Guardian.
ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
^ "U.S. blacklists North Korean officials over rights abuses".
Reuters. 2017-01-11. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
^ "Kim Jong Un praises nuclear program, promotes sister to center of
power". Reuters. 8 October 2017.
^ Gale, Alastair (2018-02-09). "Behind the Rapid Rise of Kim Jong Un's
Younger Sister". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved
^ McCurry, Justin (2017-10-09). "Meet Kim Yo-jong, the sister who is
the brains behind Kim Jong-un's image". The Guardian.
ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
Kim Jong-un 'Puts Sister in Charge of State Security'". Retrieved
^ Haas, Benjamin (9 February 2018). "US vice-president skips Olympics
dinner in snub to
North Korea officials". the Guardian. Retrieved
^ "South Korean president invited to North Korea". koreatimes.
2018-02-10. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
^ "Kim Jong-un's sister sits just yards from the tyrant after
promotion". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
Kim dynasty of North Korea
Kim Il-sung (1912–1994)
Kim Jong-il (1941–2011)
Kim Jong-un (1984–)
Kim Hyong-jik (Kim Il-sung's father)
Kang Pan-sok (Kim Il-sung's mother)
Kim Jong-suk (Kim Il-sung's first wife, Jong-il's mother)
Kim Yong-ju (Kim Il-sung's brother)
Kim Song-ae (Kim Il-sung's second wife)
Hong Il-chon (Kim Jong-il's first wife, divorced)
Song Hye-rim (Kim Jong-il's first mistress)
Kim Man-il (Kim Jong-il's brother)
Jang Song-thaek (Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law)
Kim Kyong-hui (Kim Jong-il's sister)
Kim Young-sook (Kim Jong-il's wife)
Ko Yong-hui (Kim Jong-il's second mistress, Jong-un's mother)
Kim Pyong-il (Kim Jong-il's half-brother)
Kim Ok (Kim Jong-il's third mistress)
Kim Yo-jong (Kim Jong-un's sister)
Kim Jong-chul (Kim Jong-un's brother)
Kim Sul-song (Kim Jong-un's half-sister)
Kim Jong-nam (Kim Jong-un's half-brother)
Ri Sol-ju (Kim Jong-un's wife)
Kim Ju-ae (Kim Jong-un's daughter)
Kim Han-sol (Kim Jon