Kim Yo-jong is officially First Deputy Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department but is thought to be de facto chief of staff and has become more prominent in North Korea in recent months. Ms Kim described the defectors as “human scum” and “rubbish-like mongrel dogs” for betraying Pyongyang according to Korean Central News Agency, the state press bureau. Responding to her intervention, a spokesperson for Seoul’s Ministry of Unification called for the leaflet operation to stop.
Ms Kim threatened that North Korea would back out of a 2018 military agreement and shut down a cross-border liaison office.
Pyongyang has continued to test missiles, with several being fired in the direction of Japan.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the liaison office suspending operations.
Ms Kim warned: “If such an act of evil intention committed before our eyes is left to take its own course under the pretext of ‘freedom of individuals’ and ‘freedom of expression’, the South Korean authorities must face the worst phase shortly.”
No specific individuals were mentioned in the KCNA report.
Two winners in the South Korean legislative elections in April are likely to be of interest to Pyongyang.
Thae Yong-ho, the former North Korean deputy ambassador to the UK, took a seat in the National Assembly representing Gangnam.
He said: “I want to tell them that there is a new way for their future.”
Mr Thae said his defection was as a result of him becoming increasingly aware of the “gruesome realities” of life in North Korea.
He is the highest-ranking official to defect.
With reports circulating of her brother’s death, Ms Kim was touted as the future Supreme Leader of North Korea.
The Kim family has been ruling North Korea since the nation’s foundation after the Second World War.
It was their grandfather Kim Il-Sung who became the first supreme leader.
In March 2019, Ms Kim won a seat at the Supreme People’s Assembly.
Her brother did not stand, but previously represented the 111th Paektusan.
The siblings are thought to have grown close whilst at school in Switzerland.
Published at Thu, 04 Jun 2020 05:24:00 +0000