07/16/2020, 10.03
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Seoul, Kim Jong-un's sister under investigation

It is a purely symbolic act in response to the destruction of the Kaesong Inter-Korean Office. But it is also an absolute first: Kim Yo-jong. The young marshal's sister had never been targeted by Seoul. The tension between the two Koreas continues, after a period of thaw that had made the international community hope.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - Prosecutors in the Central District of Seoul have announced that they have opened a formal investigation against Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

The woman is accused of issuing the order to destroy the Inter-Korean Office in the demilitarized zone of Kaesong, on the border between the two Koreas.

The bombing of the building, which took place on June 16, brought the dialogue between the two nations back to the lowest level since the atomic tests of the North.

From a formal point of view, the investigation was opened after a southern lawyer showed up in the prosecutor's office on 8 July.

The lawyer indicted Kim and General Pak Jong-chon, head of the Northern Army Central Staff. The formal charge is that of destruction of state-owned assets: according to Southern law, this could lead to a sentence of up to 10 years in prison; under Northern law, life imprisonment.

This is an absolute first: the young Marshal's sister had never been formally accused of the atrocities committed by her brother's regime. She is in a prominent role on the political stage of Pyongyang, and for weeks - during Kim Jong-un's allegedly fatal illness - she had even been referred to as a possible successor.

The prosecutor's office accepted the complaint this morning but explained that it will take time to understand if and how to proceed, even if it is virtually impossible that the investigation could lead to anything substantial.

The lawyer who filed the charge is also aware of this, explaining to Yonhap: "It will be difficult to get to an arrest, but the investigation should be continued. We should allow the 25 million North Korean citizens to know the truth about hypocrisy and the false image created by the family that governs them. And we should defend the order guaranteed by law in our free democracy."

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