Kim Jong-un promotes sister Kim Yo-jong to top decision-making body
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has promoted his sister, Kim Yo-jong, to the country's top decision-making body, the Workers Party's Politburo. 30-year-old Kim Yo-jong, late leader Kim Jong-il's youngest daughter, had been designated a senior party official three years ago. She now replaces her aunt in the politburo. She is often seen appearing beside her brother public in public events.
Yo-jong is known to be very close to leader Jong-un, who is four years elder to her. The two reportedly studied together in Berne, Switzerland. In 2014, she took up a key role in the country's propaganda department, where her main job was to manage her brother's image. Reportedly, she is married to the son of the powerful party secretary, Choe Ryong-hae.
The US has blacklisted Yo-jong for allegedly being linked to human rights abuses. Jong-un announced her promotion as part of a wider party reshuffle. Her elevation can be seen as additional evidence of the Kim family's unending iron grip on North Korea. It was widely expected that Yo-jong would be given a more important role in the core leadership.
Jong-un also elevated Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho to a full vote-carrying member of the Politburo. Last month, Ri had called US President Donald Trump "President Evil" at a UN meeting. The promotions came as Jong-un reiterated that the North's nuclear weapons programme would continue unabated.