The Queen in the North!
Kim Yo Jong’s Succession to North Korean Throne isn’t the Question, Her Reign is
The rumours of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s death is becoming the burning issue for global politics. The question is who’ll be next to rule? Now all eyes are set on Kim Yo Jong, Jong-Un’s little sister and North Korea’s Propagandist-in-Chief. And with that, the bigger question is:
‘Will a Woman now Dictate Nuclear Armed North Korea?’
Heads Up! Kim Yo Jong will succeed North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un in case of his Death
- Kim Yo Jong: NK’s Propagandist-in-Chief
- A Woman in Patriarchal Society
- Playing the Game
Kim Yo Jong amid NK’s Power Dynamis
Kim Yo Jong’s position in North Korea is very reserved as King Kim Jon Li’s youngest daughter, Princess Yo Jong, as he affectionately called her. The 31-year-old studied in Berne, Switzerland at the same time as Kim Jong-un. Forbes reported that, in Switzerland, she took ballet lessons.
It’s the childhood spent with Jong Un during their schooling that brought the duo together. She represented Jong Un at 2018 Winter Olympics and extended an invitation to South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.
Kim Yo Jong is the mastermind behind her brother’s image inside the state and overseas. She was recently reinstated to Worker Party’s powerful politburo. Frequently seen standing among the party’s elderly male officials she is the in-charge of the country’s propaganda affairs.
Yo Jong’s soft powers were executed while accompanying Jong Un in high stake Summits with US President Donald Trump. Since then the North Korea observers believe she’s essentially North Korea’s No. 2 official.
A Woman in Patriarchal Society
But the power dynamics shift with Kim Jong Un’s death. Kim Yo Jong remains the most prominent heir. Her claim to the North Korean throne is backed by her bloodline which is more important than gender. She is said to be her brother’s alter ego hence, she’ll keep the borders closed and prioritise dynastical hold.
Still, Kim Yo Jong is still a woman in a North Korean society rigidly controlled by men. Elite power dynamics and danger of instability within North Korea might make her rule an unlikely option.
Some Analyst doesn’t think Yo Jong could have a sway over the country’s generals who command the nuclear weapon program. A former South Korean presidential advisor, Lee Byong-Chul told Bloomberg, “It is almost unthinkable to have a female leader in North Korea in part due to its unique patriarchy based on the Confucianism.”
Playing the Game
In 2013, Kim Jong Un consolidated his rule by executing his uncle and mentor, Jang Song Thaek for treason. He is the third generation of his family to rule North Korea. Bloody power struggles aren’t new to this nuclear-armed state.
The chubby-cheeked girl who loved dancing according to Jong Un’s biography “The Great Successor” by Anna Fifield surely, knows how to execute power. And in the North Korean ‘cult driven system’ it’s essential to have a family member in charge.
Sung-Yoon Lee, from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, believes the generals with the big guns are only interested in protecting their own power understanding well that power runs through the Kim family. He said, “She will be able to wield power through a mix of terror and promotions. She knows how to play the game.”
And with Kim Yo Jong’s succession comes the even bigger question,
‘Will the World be Kinder to a Female Leader of North Korea?’