Keeping It in the Family: Kim Yeo Jung

Choi Song Min  |  2012-02-16 14:43
Although the Kim Jong Eun regime currently appears stable, as a transitional dictatorship it is still inherently rather weak. Therefore, Kim naturally relies to a significant extent on trusted close relatives. His uncle and aunt, Jang Sung Taek and Kim Kyung Hee, are two of the most famous; however, they are not alone.

One defector who used to be part of anti-South Korea operations told Daily NK yesterday that one of the more powerful people behind the scenes is actually Kim’s sister, Kim Yeo Jung. “When Kim Jong Il was alive, Kim Yeo Jung played the role of ‘royal inspector’; visiting onsite guidance locations in advance and evaluating the success of state policy,” he claimed, adding, "Kim Jong Il followed Kim Yeo Jung's instructions to the letter."

He went on, “Kim Yeo Jung organized her father’s onsite visits starting in June of 2008, before he collapsed. She decided whether the visit was possible, looking into the location in advance.”

“In 2008 there was a No.1 Event for Kim Jong Il at Chosun Combined Enterprise (Chongjin shipyard), then, on the day before, a young, modern-looking lady in sunglasses swept by in a Mercedes-Benz, looked around the factory then disappeared. The day after that, the No.1 event was canceled.”

According to the source, local cadres knew that she was Kim Jong Il’s daughter, but she was known then as Ye Jung not Yeo Jung. Ten days later she appeared again to check security and sanitation at the shipyard. The next day, Kim Jong Il visited.

In a 2009 example, Kim Yeo Jung surprised cadres by visiting a fertilizer factory at Heungnam in South Hamkyung Province the day before Kim Jong Il was set to arrive. This tendency was the reason why she is known as the ‘royal inspector’; under the Chosun Dynasty, Korean kings had inspectors who travelled the land in secret, appearing at will to investigate whatever they pleased.

Although the young woman’s name was not included on the funeral committee for Kim Jong Il, her appearing behind Kim Jong Eun on TV during the mourning period and on the podium during the funeral itself did much to highlight this substantial power.

The only reason why her name was not listed was because she did not and does not have a particular position in the regime at the present time, and while some suggest that her young age (she is in her 20s) means it is too early for her to have such an official position, this was never deemed to be the case for Kim Jong Eun, and her official bow seems to be only a matter of time.
 
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