Who is Kim Yo-jong and Why is Twitter Suddenly Obsessed With Her?

kim yo jong

Many people online have suddenly developed a fascination Kim Jong-un’s 32-year-old sister, Kim Yo-jong, as rumors circulate about the North Korean leader’s health after a reported heart operation.

Unverified reports of Kim Jong-un’s health started to surface when he failed to appear at the hermit country’s important “Day of the Sun” holiday which celebrates the birthday of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, the founder and the first dictator of Communist North Korea, on April 15, according to Fox News.

 

Kim Jong-un was recovering from surgery after his operation on April 12 at a coastal resort, reports The Daily NK, an online news site based in Seoul, South Korea that is run mostly by North Korean defectors.

However, South Korean officials have dismissed the reports of Kim Jong-un’s health being in danger.

“Kim Jong Un is alive and well,” Chung-in Moon, foreign policy adviser to South Korea’s president, said. “He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected.”

PANMUNJOM, SOUTH KOREA – APRIL 27: North Koraen Leader Kim Jong Un (L) and sister Kim Yo Jong attend the Inter-Korean Summit at the Peace House on April 27, 2018 in Panmunjom, South Korea. (Photo by Korea Summit Press Pool/Getty Images)

As rumors continue to circulate online, media outlets have now put the spotlight on his sister as the most likely candidate to become the successor.

Who is Kim Yo-jong?

Believed to be born on Sept. 26, 1987, Kim Yo-jong spent most of her childhood at her mother’s Ch’angkwang Hill residence in central Pyongyang along with her two older brothers, according to Biography.

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 09: Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, arrives at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Game. (Photo by Patrick Semansky – Pool /Getty Images)

She was then sent to Switzerland to continue her education in 1996 and attended Liebefeld Hessgut public school while living with her aunt and uncle along with a staff of housekeepers and bodyguards. She was later joined by her older brother Kim Jong-un at Liebefeld-Steinhölzli public school where they enrolled under pseudonyms.

PANMUNJOM, SOUTH KOREA – JUNE 12: In this handout photo provided by the Ministry of Unification, Kim Yo-Jong (R), sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, talks with Chung Eui-yong (L), South Korea’s top national security advisor. (Photo by South Korean Ministry of Unification via Getty Images)

Not much is known about her activities after returning to North Korea in 2000 or 2001, but she joined the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK) in 2007 before eventually becoming the secretariat of her late father, Kim Jong-il, until his death in 2011.

HANOI, VIETNAM – MARCH 01: Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and North Korean officials during a welcoming ceremony at the President Palace on March 1, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Photo by Tuan Mark/Getty Images)

Kim Yo-jong climbed the ranks during her brother’s rule as she took charge as the first vice-department director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department in 2014. She also became an alternate member of WPK’s politburo, the principal policy-making committee of the country’s communist party.

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 09: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong (back left) watch on during the Opening Ceremony (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Kim Yo-jong made a highly publicized appearance at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where she joined her brother. She was also present at the two summits with Donald Trump, The Guardian reported.

Memes and Stans

As a result of widespread coverage of Kim Yo-jong, social media users started to stan, or have an overzealous obsession with, the 32-year-old North Korean politician despite the fact that she was placed on a blacklist by U.S. officials in 2017 for “severe human rights abuses” along with other North Korean officials.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 11: In this handout image provided by the South Korean Presidential Blue House, North Korea’s nominal head of state Kim Yong-Nam (L) weeps while watching a performance of North Korea’s Samjiyon Orchestra with Kim Yo-Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s sister and South Koran President Moon Jae-In (3rd R) at National Theater on February 11, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by South Korean Presidential Blue House via Getty Images)

Some of the posts created by users compare the North Korean politician to an anime girl, or in this case, a senpai (an upperclassman who usually mentors an underclassman referred to as kohai), Mashable reported.

In another, a user posted an edited image of the politician who is running while biting a piece of bread — an image of Japanese girls usually portrayed in anime series.

Ardenlolo, an illustrator, created this work showing Kim Yo-jong as an anime girl with the bread in her mouth.

Fan cams of the North Korean supreme leader’s sister have also popped up.

She was also likened to Azula, the princess of the Fire Nation and younger sister of Zuko, from the Nickelodeon show “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”

Not Everyone is a Fan

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

While some people are jumping onboard the Kim Yo-jong hype train, others are strongly pointing out that she is the same as her brother and his predecessors.

Feature Image via Getty

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