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Kim Jong Un's Sister Assumes State Duties During Brother's Abscence: Reports

RIA Novosti

18:09 02/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has assumed state duties while her brother is undergoing medical treatment, The Diplomat magazine for the Asia-Pacific region reported.

'Some say Hwang Byong So, director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People's Army, may have assumed new No. 2 status, but given what has been confirmed this time, we can say Hwang is just a shadow, and Kim Yo Jong is the second-in-command of North Korea,' The Diplomat quoted Kim Heung Gwang, the head of North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity (NKIS), group of North Korean residents in South Korea promoting democratization for North Korea, as saying on Wednesday.

According to the report, Kim Jong Un is currently undergoing medical treatment at Bonghwa Clinic in North Korea's capital Pyongyang. An unnamed source told NKIS that the decision to provide the head of state with an extended medical help was taken at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea on September 6. It was also agreed that all North Korean senior officials would comply with Kim Jong Un's previous orders, that the party should be 'on wartime-like alert' and that Kim Yo Jong should take on responsibility for the governmental matters in Kim Jong Un's absence.

The exact nature of the North Korean leader's health problems remain unknown.

Kim Yo Jong is the daughter of the former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Officially mentioned for the first time on March 9, she was later identified as a senior official in the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

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