A North Korean expert discussed with Fox News Digital why Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, is “the most dangerous woman in the world” after surprise appearance in Russia last week.
“I argue that Kim Yo Jong today is indeed the most dangerous woman in the world in all of Korean history, perhaps world history,” said Sung-Yoon Lee, a professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
“Although she is relatively young – she turns 36 at the end of September – she is a woman who brings, of course, a softer image to the brutish, chauvinistic, male-dominated facade of her nation,” he said. “She is to be taken very seriously.”
Lee is the author of “The Sister,” which tracks Yo Jong’s rise to power as “de-facto deputy” to the hermit kingdom’s supreme leader.
Kim Yo Jong made her first public appearance in 2011 with her father, Kim Jong Il, but remained a largely background figure until she appeared at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018. She then months later accompanied her brother to a historic summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
She most recently accompanied her brother to Russia for his summit with Vladimir Putin, visiting the Vostochny Cosmodrome ahead of a meeting between the two leaders.
Analysts have identified Kim Yo Jong as a possible successor to her brother, and Lee believes she may serve as a regent to her brother’s rumored children until they are old enough to take power – even if that creates some tension.
Lee acknowledged that if there is “some tension with the aunty” then she will “remember the bitter, cold winter of 2013 when she and her brother had their uncle executed.”
Kim Yo Jong and her brother have seemed to increasingly cooperate over the years, starting with the assassination of their uncle who had “half-heartedly clapped” while in the presence of the supreme leader – just one of the several crimes for which state media accused him of using an “arrogant” action that touched off “towering resentment of our service personnel and people.”
Following her public debut abroad in South Korea, she has made bold declarations on behalf of her brother and his government – 40 written statements, at least, as well as ordering the destruction of a joint liaison office located in North Korean territory.
Lee explained that this vested authority is particularly troubling since it likely gives her authority – even jointly with her brother – over the country’s nuclear weapons arsenal, to which she referred in a couple of statements last year when threatening South Korea if it “fired even a single bullet inside North Korean territory.”
“We have never seen this in North Korea, in Korean history, in world history, a female co-despotess – a female co-leader of a criminal regime – issuing nuclear threats and saying that I have the authority to nuke you, a peaceful, democratic neighboring state in South Korea,” Lee said.
Researching a subject from one of the most secretive nations on the planet proved difficult, but Lee worked through the “great difficulty” with the help of graduate students to research “every single reference to Kim Yo Jong” in Chinese reports and even on Taiwan, official statements from North Korea and “hundreds of hours” of North Korean video.
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