Kim Jong-un’s sister could rule North Korea for 50 years and be even “more ruthless”, an expert has warned.
Last weekend, Chang Song-min, an ex-aide to late-South Korean president Kim Dae-jung,claimed that Kim was comatosefollowing similar reports in April.
He also said that Kim was preparing to hand over the reins to younger sister Kim Yo-jong, 33.
Professor Sung-Yoon Lee, from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in the US, dismissed the rumours surrounding Kim’s death, as photos emerged of the tyrant chairing a coronavirus meeting.
However, he does believe that steps are being taken which would allow Kim Yo Jong, 32, to fill his shoes if required.
Prof Lee told Daily Star Online: “She is, I would say, an unprecedented strategic weapon for the North Korean regime…because she’s young and in the eye of many pretty.
“Because she’s only 32 and apparently not obese or afflicted with heart disease, diabetes –as her brother and their father and grandfather were – one can assume that she might be in power for the next 20 years or even 50 years, who knows.
“And the fact that she’s a woman in a very male-dominated, chauvinistic political culture gives her enormous power in handling the nation’s relations with the US and South Korea.
“She casts a softer feminine glow on the brutish very unattractive facade that is North Korea itself.”
Despite her charm, Prof Lee believes Kim’s sister will be equally driven in developing the country’s nuclear arsenal and trying to intimidate its enemies.
He added: “It’s not a hobby, it’s not something that they can just give or negotiate away.
“It would be tantamount to treason to give up the bomb that their predecessors spent half a century building, so one has to assume that she knows all this.”
Back in March, Kim Yo-jong labelled the South Korean government “a frightened dog barking” after officials protested against a live-fire military drill by the North.
In June, she said South Korean President Moon Jae-in had failed to implement any of the 2018 peace pacts and that he “put his neck into the noose of pro-US flunkeyism” – accusing him of being a servant to its government.
Prof Lee added: “This year she sounds even fiercer than Kim…her brother seems like a nice guy compared to what she’s been saying.
He continued: “She has been at her brother’s side as he’s had people blown up with anti-aircraft artillery, the public executions, she’s seen all that.
“There is no reason to believe that she will be any nicer or gentler than her predecessors.
“I would actually argue that…the fact that she needs to prove her mettle, her leadership demands that she be even more ruthless.”
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