The younger sister of dictator Kim Jong-un has taken an unusual position in North Korea’s public life – as the regime’s fiercest mudslinger.
The younger sister of dictator Kim Jong-un has taken an unusual position in North Korea's public life – as the regime's fiercest mudslinger.
And as her older brother keeps disappearing from the public eye for long periods of time, it has been suggested that Kim Yo-jong is being groomed as his successor.
But any hopes that Ms Kim would be a more temperate alternative to her brother have been scotched by her public statements in recent weeks.
Remarks made by Ms Kim over the scattering of anti-regime leaflets dropped in from South Korea have shown little inclination towards change.
The leaflets are being floated into the country via hydrogen balloons from defectors in the South.
Ms Kim described the leaflet distributors as "almost illiterate" fools and "riff-raff".
"Human scum little short of wild animals who betrayed their own homeland are engrossed in such unbecoming acts to imitate men," she wrote in newspaper Rodong Sinmun.
"They are sure to be called mongrel dogs as they bark in where they should not.
"Now that the mongrel dogs are doing others harm, it is time to bring their owners to account."
North Korean public statements against their adversaries are usually colourfully worded, but Ms Kim's statement is especially strong.
"I would like to ask the South Korean authorities if they are ready to take care of the consequences of evil conduct done by the rubbish-like mongrel dogs who took no scruple to slander us while faulting the 'nuclear issue' in the meanest way at the most untimely time," she wrote.
"I detest those who feign ignorance or encourage more than those who move to do others harm."
The leafleting campaign is run by two brothers who defected from North Korea.
Since 2004, the pair have been airdropping anti-Kim messages, US currency, small radio sets, memory drives loaded with South Korean soap operas, and Bibles.
Owning a Bible is a crime in North Korea, and those caught with one are sent to labour camps or executed on the spot, advocacy group Open Doors writes.
On Tuesday North Korea announced it would sever all communications with the South, a move attributed to Ms Kim's influence.
It comes as North Korea continues to advance its missile and nuclear weapons program.
Ms Kim is rising in stature while her older brother makes fewer public appearances.
Mr Kim vanished from the public eye in April, sparking rumours that he was gravely ill or even dead.
But he reappeared in May for the opening of fertiliser plant, and again earlier this week for a round table meeting of the Politburo.
Despite being just 36 years old, Mr Kim is reported to be in poor health.
It is looking increasingly likely that Ms Kim would take over if her brother was to die.
Read more: Who is Kim Yo-jong, North Korea's heiress apparent?
Read more: North Korea shuts down all communication with South
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/kim-yo-jong-north-korea-statement-kim-jong-un-dictator-south-defector-leaflet-messages/d7459959-929e-4b15-86f1-bd360d57508d