North Korea's Newest Mystery Woman

Kim Tae Hong  |  2012-07-08 20:35
▲ The mysterious woman is sitting on Kim Jong Eun’s right in this screen grab from the Chosun Central TV footage (ⓒ Yonhap)

A young woman caught on camera sitting next to Kim Jong Eun at a concert in Pyongyang on the 6th is attracting attention, with speculation focusing on the possibility that she is either Kim Jong Eun’s younger sister or his wife.

On the 7th, Chosun Central TV broadcast the footage in which the young lady appeared. It featured her sat between Kim and Jang Sung Taek at the opening concert of what the state broadcaster called the “newly formed” Moran Hill Orchestra.

As normal, the North Korean media reported that Kim was joined by Central Party cadres, on this particular day including Jang and Choi Ryong Hae, but did not explain whom the young lady was, despite the fact that her location in the seating arrangement makes it almost certain that she is a powerful member of the regime elite.

As such, the likelihood that she is Kim’s younger sister Kim Yeo Jung is taken to be high. She is known to work high in the regime, but her position is believed to be a shadowy one. Conversely, it is deemed less likely that the woman is Kim's wife.

This is because, as Sohn Gwang Joo of the Gyeonggi Research Institute noted, “In communist states, the wife of the supreme leader has no public position and does not appear at public events. So, the probability that she is his wife seems pretty low.”

However, there are a number of external differences between the mysterious woman at the concert and another woman, also presumed to be Kim Yeo Jung, who appeared at mourning events for Kim Jong Il last December. Based on these differences, there is also the (somewhat lower) possibility that the mystery woman is one of the top officials in the Moran Hill Orchestra.
 
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