N. Korea leader's little sister makes official debut
AFP and AP
March 11, 2014, 12:09 am TWN
SEOUL/PYONGYANG -- The younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made an official debut of sorts, consolidating the grip on power of the ruling Kim dynasty's third generation.
Kim Yo Jong, believed to be 26, accompanied her elder brother to a polling station on Sunday when North Korea held stage-managed elections to its rubber stamp parliament.
It was not her first appearance. She was shown on state television in 2011, tearfully standing next to Kim Jong Un as they attended the funeral of their father and former ruler Kim Jong Il.
Since then she has occasionally been seen accompanying her brother on his "field guidance trips."
Sunday's outing was different as she was, for the first time, officially listed by her name and as a "senior official" attending the voting function along with several top party and army luminaries.
State TV footage showed Kim in a black skirt suit, walking closely behind her brother and casting her vote into a ballot box.
Her precise position was not detailed, but she is believed to be the events director in Kim Jong Un's Secretariat Office.
In 2012, Kim Yo Jong was seen on state TV riding a white horse — a common propaganda symbol associated with the Kim family — with her aunt, Kim Kyong Hui.
As Kim Jong Il's sister, Kim Kyong Hui was an enormously powerful and influential figure who was given the rank of a four-star general.
Together with her husband, Jang Song Thaek, she was seen as the power behind Kim Jong Un's throne, until the young leader had Jang purged and executed last year.
With no one else on the ballot, state media reported Monday that supreme leader Kim Jong Un was not only elected to the highest legislative body in North Korea, he won with the unanimous approval of his district, which had 100 percent turnout.
In the previous elections, 687 deputies were chosen. This is first time the election had been held since Kim inherited power after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011.
"This is an expression of all the service personnel and people's absolute support and profound trust in supreme leader Kim Jong Un as they single-mindedly remain loyal to him," the state-run Korean Central News Agency said.