11/28/2014, 00.00
NORTH KOREA
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Pyongyang, the three women behind Kim Jong-un’s throne

With the appointment of his younger sister to the leadership of the Workers' Party, the North Korean dictator finds himself at the center of a circle of women who advise and guide him: two sisters and his wife, increasingly influential in the regime’s political and economic decisions.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - With the appointment of his younger sister Kim Yeo-jong to leadership of the Workers' Party, the "circle" of the closest advisers to the  North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is now dominated by the women members of the family. His wife Ri Sol-ju and older half-sister Kim Sul-song have long been among the most trusted people for the Stalinist leader, who seems to have ended his series of purges against officials of the time of his father Kim Jong-il.

Kim Sul-song is the oldest of the three. Despite the secrecy that shrouds the life of each member of the Kim family - in power in North Korea since 1953, the year of the end of the Korean War and the division of the peninsula - it is believed she was born in 1974. She is the eldest daughter of the former dictator Kim Jong-il and his second wife, Kim Yong-suk.

According to data available, Sul-song studued Economic Policy at Kim Il-sung University and, since the late 1990's, has worked in the Central Secretariat of the Party. During her father's reign she acted as personal secretary in charge of security and the "dear leader's" daily agenda. Today she holds the same position for her brother.

She is also believed to be a " the hub" for the flow of information to and from government officials. Together with her husband Sin Pok-nam, a long time regime official, she played a central role in the purge of her uncle Jang Song-taek.

Ri Sol-ju, born around 1989, is instead believed to be the protector of Choe Ryong-hae: the former "number two" of the regime had fallen on hard times in recent months and was replaced with Hwang Pyong-so, but thanks to his wife, Kang Kyong-sil's friendship with the dictator's companion he is back at the top.

Kim Yeo-jong, finally, is Kim's younger sister. Appointed a few days ago deputy director of the powerful Central Committee of the Workers' Party, she is the youngest person in North Korea (27 years old) to achieve such an important position. According to some sources, her appointment blocks the road to the dictator's male siblings (three in total, two twins, plus the exiled Kim Jong-nam).

 

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