Kim Yo-jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister and close aide, may have moved even higher in the party structure, based on her treatment in the official media during her most recent public visit.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) identified Kim Yo-jong alongside officials of the governing Workers’ Party’s Political Bureau during last week’s memorial service for the power siblings’ father, Kim Jong-il. She was mentioned alongside the Politburo’s sitting and alternate members, the party’s policy-making body that meets multiple times a year.
During the mournful Friday ceremony remembering 10 years since Kim Jong-death, il’s Kim Jong-il was also seen standing closer than expected to her brother at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun. Some analysts believed that it could signal a promotion to an alternate member of the Politburo, or at the very least, a shift in the relative influence of party officials.
Kim Jong-un’s sister had served on the Politburo as an alternative member but was demoted in January during the party’s annual session. In early December, the Politburo met to outline the agenda for a full Central Committee session later that month and the party congress the following year.
The meeting was described by state media as the fifth in 2021, implying that the party leadership held an unpublicized meeting since their third meeting in September, which was widely reported. Some analysts speculated that decisions impacting power rankings may have been made there.