“Game of Thrones“ draws inspiration from news that Kim Yo Jong (KYJ), North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (KJU)’s sister, has become the country’s de facto “No. 2” amid difficult-to-confirm reports that the KJU may be facing serious health issues that prevent him from carrying out all of his responsibilities. While she first jumped into the spotlight back in 2014, KYJ’s growing role in the regime was further solidified in 2018 when she became the first member of the Kim clan to step on South Korean soil during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Reporting from Daily NK and other news outlets have suggested that she has since been accumulating power in the country and is even managing reviews of both the country’s government bonds program and progress in the five-year national economic development plan. While some may latch onto hope that North Korea under KYJ’s leadership (if her becoming the leader is even possible – some defector commentators argue otherwise) could be more congenial than her brother’s, recent statements published in the country’s Rodong Sinmun suggest her apple didn’t fall far from the tree: she has condemned defectors sending leaflets over the 38th Parallel as “mongrel dogs” and “human scum little short of wild animals.” She’s even warned that the next action North Korea will take against South Korea is to be led by the country’s military. Indeed, as Lee Kwang Baek, Daily NK’s president, wrote in a recent “open letter” to KYJ, such statements only diminished her dignity and showed that she “lack[s] the judgement to conduct government affairs.”
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