See More on Facebook

Current affairs, Politics

Public appearance of North Korean leader’s sister dispels punishment rumors

Sister was thought to be punished for Hanoi summit failures.


Written by

Updated: June 5, 2019

Kim Yo-jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s younger sister, has appeared in public for the first time in nearly two months, dispelling speculation that she had been under probation over the breakdown of the second US-North Korea summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, Workers’ Party of Korea First Vice Director Kim Yo-jong and Kim Jong-un attended a mass gymnastics and artist performance called “The Land of the People” at the May Day Stadium on Monday.

She had last been seen in North Korean media coverage on April 12, when she took part in the Supreme People’s Assembly.

Her reappearance in state media’s coverage of the event dispelled rumors raised by a conservative South Korean newspaper on Friday that a number of high-ranking officials and envoys involved in preparing for the summit in February had been purged, or even executed, because their leader had left the meeting empty-handed.

Nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington have since been in a stalemate.

Chosun Ilbo reported that Kim Yong-chol — the North Korean leader’s right-hand man who had served as the counterpart of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — had been sent to do hard labor at a re-education camp.

However, Kim Yong-chol appeared at a public event on Monday for the second consecutive day, at the gymnastics performance, following his attendance of a performance by the wives of military officers on Sunday.

Regarding the state-run KCNA report, a Unification Ministry official said Kim Yong-chol “appears to maintain his post as a vice chairman of the ruling party’s central committee.”

In April, Seoul’s spy agency said Kim Yong-chol had been removed from his post as head of the United Front Department, a major party agency.

The North’s special envoy to the US, Kim Hyok-chol — whom Chosun Ilbo reported had been executed in March –has yet to appear in public.

On Tuesday, CNN reported that Kim Hyok-chol was alive and in state custody for investigation into his role in the failed summit, citing unnamed sources.

Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at the Sejong Institute, downplayed the possibility that Kim Hyok-chol had been executed, as it would be unfair for him to face the toughest punishment compared with Kim Yong-chul, who oversaw the denuclearization negotiations.

Cheong argued that no officials would be willing to take on the role of nuclear negotiator if the North Korean leader were to hold them responsible for the breakdown of talks and consequently send them to do forced labor, to political prison camps or to have them executed.

“If Kim has not given up on negotiations with the US, it is unlikely that he will impose such extreme punishment,” he said.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Current affairs, Politics

World gathers to mark Emperor’s enthronement

Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony to take place on Tuesday. The main enthronement proclamation ceremony, one of the rituals to mark the Emperor’s accession to the throne, is to be held Tuesday at the Imperial Palace in the presence of about 2,000 guests, including representatives from 183 countries, the United Nations and the European Union. The Emperor will declare his accession at the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi ceremony. The about 400 foreign guests will include Britain’s Prince Charles, other royalty and heads of state. They will be joined by representatives of various fields in Japan, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the heads of the administrative, legislative and judicial branches, Diet members and governors. Sadaharu Oh, chairman of the company operating the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks; ninth-dan shogi player Yoshiharu Habu; and Susumu Nakanishi, a profe


By The Japan News
October 22, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Border clash with India leaves 7 dead in Pakistan

Kashmir is becoming an untenable boiling point. At least six civilians and a Pakistani soldier were killed as Indian troops resorted to “indiscriminate and ruthless” shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), officials said on Sunday. Officials said that nine other civilians were injured, adding that this was the highest death toll in 2019 in a single day of Indian shelling from across the dividing line. Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) notified through a tweet that one soldier had been martyred in the exchange of fire while two others were injured. ISPR added that in response to unprovoked ceasefire violations by India in Jura, Shahkot and Nauseri sectors, nine Indian soldiers were killed while several ot


By Dawn
October 21, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Survey finds two-thirds oppose military spending

Military expenditure has become a hot button issue in Thailand. Nearly two-thirds of citizens want the government to spend more on health and social security, according to a recent Super Poll survey. Assistant Professor Noppadon Kannika, director of the Super Poll Research Centre, said 1,069 people were quizzed about the budget for fiscal 2020 currently before the House. He said 65.9 per cent felt a greater share of the budget should be allocated to health, while 64.9 per cent believe more should go to education, 59.8 per cent to job provision and another 59.8 per cent to security in the quality of life. Less support was expressed for spending on national security (54.8 per cent), transportation and road repairs (50.8 per cent) and small-medium business promotion (48.2 per cent). Asked about their political leanings, 67.2 per cent of respondents said they were “in


By The Nation (Thailand)
October 21, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Hong Kong march spirals into chaos, again

Violence begets violence as more protests hits Hong Kong on the weekend. An illegal protest rally through Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui spiraled into chaos on Sunday, as protesters began to engage in acts of vandalism and arson even as the police warned of a response. Signs of trouble began to emerge towards the end of the march near the West Kowloon terminus in a now familiar pattern. Protesters were seen spraying over the MTR logo with black paint, building barricades and digging up bricks from the ground. At Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station, demonstrators tossed multiple rounds of Molotov cocktails at the station and police responded with multiple volleys of tear gas from the upper floors of the building while warning protesters over a loudspeaker to stop. Two hoses were constantly spraying water to douse the flames. A similar scene played out at the Mong Kok police station, prompting officers insid


By Asia News Network
October 21, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

President Joko Widodo sworn in for second term

Joko exhorts Indonesians to develop ‘new ways and values’. A few hours before he was sworn in for a second and final term in office on Sunday (Oct 20), Indonesian President Joko Widodo uploaded a new profile picture on Facebook with the caption “Let’s work together towards progress for Indonesia”. The post has since garnered more than 224,000 likes and over 19,000 comments from well-wishers congratulating him on his re-election and cheering him on to steer the country to success. At around 4pm Jakarta time (5pm Singapore time), millions of Indonesians tuned in to a live television broadcast as Mr Joko, more popularly known as Jokowi, recited his oath of office before lawmakers and regional senators that make up the People’s Consultative Assembly, or MPR, at the Parliament building. The new Vice-President, cleric Ma’ruf Amin, who replaced outgoing Mr Jusuf Kalla, also took h


By The Straits Times
October 21, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

‘History will take note of those who ridiculed removal of Article 370’: PM Modi in Maharashtra

PM Modi also expressed confidence that the BJP will break all victory records in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections. Prime Minister on Thursday once again lashed out at the opposition saying that history will take note of those who mocked the abrogation of Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “Whenever Article 370 will be discussed in history, — the decision that was taken in the interest of the country — the people who opposed and ridiculed will be remembered,” PM Modi said while addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Parli. He said the next week’s state Assembly elections were a battle between BJP’s “karyashakti” (power of development) and opposition’s “swarth shakti” (selfishness). Further targeting the Congress and NCP leaders, he wondered if “frustrated and dejected” people could do anything good for people. “A Congress


By The Statesman
October 18, 2019