South Korea’s intel concluded that Kim Yo-jong, North Korean leader, Kim Jong -un’s sister, is his “de facto second-in-command.” 

Miss Kim has yet to be designated as his successor though, Al Jazeera reported.

What Does The South Korean Intel Agency Know? 

Ha Tae-Keung, a legislator on the South Korean intelligence committee, told reporters that Miss Kim, with mandated authority, was helping her brother manage North Korea.

According to an intel report mentioned by the lawmaker, Miss Kim is in charge of United States and South Korean affairs.

Kim Yo-jong, presumably in her early 30’s, is the only member of Kim Jong-un’s family who has a public political role.

Miss Kim recently set in motion a new, more ruthless campaign to pressure the South Korean government, Al Jazeera added.

In a report by the Korea Herald, Ha Tae-Kyung from the United Future Party said “Kim Jong-un still wields “ absolute power.” 

At present, Jong-un allocated some “authority little by little,” the lawmaker told reporters after the National Intelligence Service’s (NIS) briefing.

The shift in power was due to “high-stress levels” rooted in governing one of the world’s most isolated countries.

Mr. Ha added that another reason is, Kim Jong-un can avoid being blamed for any policy failure.

This, however, does not mean Kim Yo-jong has been handpicked as her brother’s next-in-line, the lawmaker said.

Kim Yo-jong Is Not Alone 

KIM YO-JUNG: HEIR APPARENT?
Kim Yo-jong

The NIS declared that other officials below assumed some of President Kim’s powers :

  1. Pak Pong-Ju as the new premier and Vice Chairman of State Affairs Commission
  2. Kim Tok-hun to oversee policies regarding the economy
  3. Choe Pu-il to handle military concerns at the Workers’ Party Central Committee
  4. Ri Pyong-Chol, as vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party, missile and nuclear weapons development, and military affairs.

Not Very Reliable 

On a BBC analysis, the reliability of NIS was questioned as it has a mixed record.

In 2016, the spy agency declared that the North Korean army chief, Ri Yong-Gil, had been executed.

Three months later, his name appeared on a list of party officials.

In 2017, the spy agency also admitted its attempt to fabricate the results of the South Korea presidential election in 2012.

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