After increased speculation about the health of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, his sister Kim Yo-jong became the center of attention on social media. It is not clear who would succeed Kim if he dies, but it has been speculated that Yo-jong would be tapped as Kim does not have any children old enough to take the job.
Kim, who is believed to be 36, had surgery earlier this month. The procedure reportedly did not go well, and there was speculation Kim was brain dead or possibly even deceased. As getting information from North Korea is difficult for any media outlet, none of these reports could be independently verified. South Korea's current position is that Kim is "alive and well," reports CNN. Speculation about his health has been going on since he missed an event celebrating his grandfather's birthday on April 15. The South Korea website Daily NK reported Kim had a cardiovascular procedure on April 12, citing an unnamed North Korea source.
"Our government position is firm," Moon Chung-in, a foreign policy adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, told CNN. "Kim Jong Un is alive and well. He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected."
For those celebrating Kim Yo Jong as some “feminist icon” because she may take over for short stack: A real empowered female leader wouldn’t be plan D for her family’s succession or need death camps and firing squads from her family’s regime to hold power.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) April 26, 2020
On Saturday, Reuters reported China sent medical experts and officials to North Korea to "advise" on Kim's health. However on Sunday, Pyongyang newspaper Rodong Sinmum said Kim was sending thanks to workers who helped remodel the city Samjiyon. CNN could not independently verify the Sunday report.
Kim Yo Jong looks more dangerous than Kim Jong Un pic.twitter.com/7SCoamEyz3— Heena (@_styleswithme) April 26, 2020
Although North Korea's ruling party is dominated by men, Yo-jong is believed to be the top candidate to replace her brother. Not too much is known about her, including her age. She is younger than Kim and believed to be in her early 30s. Last month, she made her first public statement, criticizing South Korea for opposing a military demonstration, reports the New York Post. In 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department blackslisted her for "severe human rights abuses," leading some to fear she would be as strict a ruler as her brother, father and grandfather.
For those celebrating Kim Yo Jong as some “feminist icon” because she might be the next leader of North Korea:Take time and realize her & her family’s power relies on death camps, firing squads, torture, mass starvation, & a totalitarian state, etc. to hold power. #KimYoJong— Justin Saba (@SabaJustin) April 26, 2020
Sue Mi Terry, a former North Korea analyst for the C.I.A., told the New Yorker Yo-jong is the "logical" successor. "It is an open question whether North Korean elites would accept a woman, but they would have a more difficult time accepting somebody outside the Kim family," Sue said.
Looking into Kim Yo Jong, it seems like she’s just as evil as her brother. She was blacklisted by the US Treasury Department in 2017 for “SEVERE human rights abuses.”
I wouldn’t rush to put out “North Korea will have a women leader before the US? Wow” tweets if I were you 🤦🏼♀️— Lisa Britton (@LisaBritton) April 26, 2020
"She has gotten a lot more serious," Michael Madden, who manages North Korea Leadership Watch, told the New Yorker of Yo-jong. "When you see footage of her on the receiving lines, she is smiling, a nice, friendly young woman, but when she is out of those lines, the smile vanishes and she even looks like Kim Jong-il."
Be careful what you wish for when it comes to Kim Jong Un.
Kim Yo Jong is the director of North Korea’s “Propaganda and Agitation” department — the driving force behind the propaganda that promotes her brother as a heroic leader. She’ll be worse. pic.twitter.com/yMTu0igpv4— Alana Mastrangelo (@ARmastrangelo) April 26, 2020
People have a wrongful impression that Women, especially young Women are all rainbows & gumdrops.
Do not underestimate Kim Yo Jong. She is as hardcore a villain as any Man in World History. pic.twitter.com/ll2CaJAL1J— Robin Kreindler (@Robin_dd7) April 26, 2020
So let me get this straight
the new leader of North Korea, Kim Yo Jong, is being gawked over because she has a nice face
the sister of Kim Jong Un, is "feared" and "respected" and was the head of propaganda (if I remember correctly)
what the hell is wrong with you people pic.twitter.com/QwGzJfzMHi— ProfessorT 🇭🇰 (@ProfessorT_) April 26, 2020
This is Kim Jong Un’s successor if he’s dead. His sister Kim Yo Jong. They say she’s a fuckin savage and that she’s feared in N. Korea. Lol fuck pic.twitter.com/zodndSRoo6— △⃒⃘ (@MvtthewHill) April 25, 2020