Despite Kim Yo Jong’s seemingly increasing influence and rumours of Kim Jong Un’s ill health, the sister of the North Korean leader is not destined to succeed him, experts tell

Kim Yo Jong looks more and more like a senior North Korean official who makes public statements directed towards the international community.

In a statement on Tuesday, Kim Yo Jong denounced South Korean defense officials as “treacherous” for taking part in a “dangerous” joint military exercise with the United States.

Numerous reports have been made that her brother is in serious health trouble after he gained a lot of weight this year.

“Even though Kim Yo Jong makes statements for the North Korean government quite often, it does not necessarily mean that she is in complete control. Kim Jong Un is still very much the person calling the shots, so far as we know,” Gabiela Beral, a Korean Affairs Analyst, based in Seoul

Kim Yo Jong looks more and more like a senior North Korean official who makes public statements directed towards the international community.


She said that Kim Jong Un was likely using his sister to vent anger and threats at South Korea or the United States.

Bernal stated that “this way, comments don’t fall directly upon him and he has the option to backtrack through later statements in order to reopen negotiations or diplomacy.”

For several reasons, she said that Kim Yo Jong was unlikely to be the next leader of the hermit Kingdom.

“One, her gender is a problem at NK due to the patriarchal nature the society. She has one thing going for her: her bloodline. Without it, no woman in the country would have that kind of political influence.

“If KJU were to be destroyed, it is more likely that an officer of the highest rank would assume this role. KYJ would continue to play a symbolic or ceremonial function. It’s too soon to know for certain.

Tom Fowdy from the North Korea and China Analysis at Chollima Report said Newsweek the international community often “think too deeply” into reports about Kim Jong Un’s health. These reports are often based upon hearsay or speculation.

“I believe there has been a circus in the media that has rendered serious analysis impossible. Kim has obviously lost a lot of weight, but this could be political due to the country’s current situation,” he stated.

Fowdy said that the North Korean leader’s health is a secret. The DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), never wishes to acknowledge that its leaders might be suffering from outward weakness in their health.

Fowdy referred to Kim Yo Jong and said that her rise to power was part of a strategy in international diplomacy.

He said that Kim Yo Jong is more of an “angry messenger” when it concerns Seoul.

“She can express discontent or disapproval without denying her brother access to the talks.”

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He said that North Korea wants to portray Kim Jon Un and his sister as “good cops” but she would never be the leader of the nation.

“To be the’successor,’ it is not an automatically father-to-son trait. It takes years of slowly building their personality cult and power base. She might be challenged by other people.”

Kim Jong Un’s future successor is one of his children. However, very little information is available about his offspring and details about his family are closely guarded secrets.