Kim Yeo Jung: The Backdoor Delegate

A source in Seoul has revealed that Kim Jong Eun’s sister Kim Yeo Jung has been selected as a delegate to the upcoming 4th Chosun Workers’ Party Delegates’ Conference, which is scheduled for the 11th of this month.

“Kim Yeo Jung was not given the right to that position through a Party members’ election, she was given it on the recommendation of the Party Delegates’ Conference Preparatory Committee,” the source explained. “At the end of last month when elections for Party delegates were going on in the People’s Army and the provinces, cities and counties, Kim was also unanimously selected as a Party delegate by the Conference Preparatory Committee, and that was then approved by the Party Central Committee.”


However, the source noted, “There is no confirmed information about what position Kim Yeo Jung might take at the Party Delegates’ Conference. Even in the event that she is given a certain position, the North Korean authorities would probably not release it.”

According to Party regulations, Party delegates must be elected by local conferences. Even Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Eun were technically elected according to these procedures. That Kim Yeo Jung was not chosen in this way suggests that the regime is dedicated to keeping her role within the regime under wraps.

This may be because Kim’s youth, political weakness and inexperience, not unlike those of her brother, make her a propaganda problem for the North Korean authorities. In any case, there is no known domestic public record of her political activities or educational background.

However, to Kim Jong Eun she is useful in many ways. She can be trusted to manage sensitive internal affairs or make visits to security-sensitive sectors. Above all, her quiet elevation to Party delegate shows how much Kim Jong Eun learned about the tools of dictatorship from his father, who picked it up from his own father, Kim Il Sung.

Examples abound. Kim Il Sung’s brother Kim Young Joo was, until he was pushed away from the regime core by Kim Jong Il in the 1970s, both a Politburo member, a member of the Secretariat and one of Kim Il Sung’s very closest personal advisors.

Similarly, Kim Jong Il employed sister Kim Kyung Hee in multiple roles, especially following the death of his wife Ko Young Hee and even more so after he had a stroke in the summer of 2008. Kim Kyung Hee appeared by Kim’s side continuously, while simultaneously playing the role of assistant on Kim Jong Eun’s succession with her husband, Jang Sung Taek. She is a military general and a quiet force in the regime.

Thus, just as Kim Jong Eun succeeded his father Kim Jong Il, we can say that Kim Yeo Jung seems to be succeeding her aunt, Kim Kyung Hee.