A Russian diplomat has for the first time revealed the view of Kim Jong Un, the former leader of North Korea, to his family. According to the diplomat, Kim Jong Un wanted one of his daughters, Young, to succeed him. He calls Young “Princess.”
About 20 years ago, when Kim Jong Un began travelling to Russia on his green train and armour, he made a similar “confession” to foreign missionaries. It was 2001, and the North Korean leader was scheduled to tour Russia for three weeks. His companion was Konstantin Polikovsky, a prominent Russian diplomat who took the rare opportunity to talk to one of the world’s most isolated leaders about his family. Joshua Berliner wrote in a May 3 report for Cyanide that Kim Jong Un was thought to have seven children. His youngest son and future successor, Kim Jong Un, was a teenager at the time. A few years after the North Korean leader’s physical condition deteriorated, it was unclear whether he had considered his heir, and it was unclear how the dynasty was to continue. So, when Polikovsky asked him questions about Kim’s children, the North Korean leader was very optimistic about his two daughters and spoke very kindly of them. He said that his sons were “ruined, wise and false people.”
Michael Madden, a North Korean affairs expert who runs a website and is a government adviser, said that when asked about Kim’s family over time, he would repeat the story over and over again. This narrative has been published several times since 2001 in many academic media and reports, but the Cyanids cannot independently confirm them. “Kim Jong-un loved his sons, but he didn’t necessarily like the way they lived their lives and didn’t look at it positively,” the Sydney reporter quoted Madden as saying. Despite this apparent assessment, Kim eventually chose her youngest son to succeed him. The process began about eight years ago, in 2009, when Kim Jong Un was given a role in the party. Kim Jong Un died of a heart attack two years later.
While the world may not really know anything about the fact that Kim had considered one of her daughters for the post, her admiration for one of her youngest daughters, Kimio Jong, has been well documented by North Korean standards. Kim Jong-un, a former cook of Kim’s family, told the Washington Post that Kim Jong-un called the girl “Princess Yujoong” and “Yu Jong Shirin-Zaban.” In his memoirs, Fujimoto recounts his experiences in North Korea. During dinner, Kimiyo-Jung sat on his father’s left, and Kim’s wife was on his right.
However, Kim Jong-un may have believed that placing a woman at the helm of power as North Korea’s leader – despite having several sons – may be a difficult and unconventional task. North Korea is clearly a patriarchal country where women are expected to be conscientious and critical of their husbands and to perform their motherly duties before anything else. Fugitives fleeing North Korea to South Korea say there is widespread hatred of women, gender discrimination and sexual violence in the country. “There is a very strong culture with a very strong and traditional patriarchal gender norm and a lack of women’s empowerment,” said Sokil Park, director of the Center for Research and Strategy for Freedom in North Korea, a human rights group that helps North Korean fugitives.
Kim Jong Un’s position among North Korea’s leadership cadres is remarkable. His name was among the first letters to appear during his brother’s nearly three-week absence as a possible successor. The young “On” appeared on Saturday, May 4, after a three-week absence. The mysterious absence of the North Korean leader has raised important questions about North Korea’s plans for the future, especially given that he is overweight and a heavy smoker and wine drinker. North Korean experts say that if something happens to O’Neill for any reason and his children do not reach the age where they can take over the country, Yu Jong will probably be the safest and most likely option for his brother to inherit. If she had succeeded Kim, it would have meant that a woman was at the top of one of the most repressive regimes on the planet.
The Korean Peninsula is not a good place for a woman. Being a woman in this peninsula has its sufferings. North Korea is not a land of equality, the same promise that Kimmilsung [the founder of the country] promised by achieving economic freedom. While women are an important part of the labour force and a stimulus for limited private markets within the country – because all men are employed by the government – female fugitives say they continue to face severe and widespread discrimination.
In addition, women lack the job and social opportunities of their male counterparts. “Women should always be humble and humble,” said Nara Kang, who fled North Korea in 2015 and now lives in South Korea. “These are the men who hold the women’s bag and have taken all the social positions.” In its 2018 report, Human Rights Watch said that sexual violence was also a serious problem in the country. This violence is “so serious that it is accepted as part of everyday life.” North Korea, like many other accusations of widespread abuse, denies the allegations.
The country describes the reports as “imperialist human rights rockets.” Diplomats from the United Nations also described the 2017 report on international women’s rights issues in the UN General Assembly. Kang adds that the situation in South Korea is better, but not ideal. It [North Korea] is at the bottom of all OECD countries in terms of gender gaps and discrimination. Women are always discriminated against and harassed in public. Examples include illegal filming of women in toilets.
Jane Lee, an Associated Press reporter who opened the organization’s office in Pyongyang in 2012, said she had witnessed “strange and unbelievable gender discrimination on both sides of the globe.” “My female colleagues from North Korea, like my South Korean colleagues, complained equally about this discrimination: they were expected to work all day and then have to cook and clean the house,” she added. Ms Lee is now director of the Hyundai MotorKorea Foundation’s Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.
“Honestly, neither of the two globes is a good place for women to live,” she said. However, South Korea has one winning card: having a female leader. Park Geun-hye broke with tradition in 2015 and became the first woman and president-elect in the country. Madden, a North Korean affairs expert, believes that while Ms Park’s term ended in disgrace, she showed that a woman can be accepted as a leader in North or South Korea. “North Korea has a history of over 70 years with women close to the centre of power,” Madden said.
They are influential in decision-making processes in North Korea. “South Korea has already broken that record in the peninsula.” Kang, a fugitive from South Korea, is not sure. When asked if she lived in North Korea, did she imagine that a woman would become the “supreme leader” of the country, she said emphatically no. “Definitely not,” she said. I can never imagine that.
An unbreakable bond
From the moment Kimyo-jung set foot in South Korea in 2018, cameras followed him everywhere. His job was to represent his brother’s regime at the Winter Olympics in Pyongyang, South Korea. He was not the highest-ranking member of the delegation; the title belonged to his brother, Kimionungnam, who was the ceremonial head of the North Korean government at the time. But it was Kimiao Jung who really made history.
He was the first member of North Korea’s ruling family to travel 38 degrees south since 1953 (when the Korean War ended; of course, there was no peace treaty between the two countries except for a ceasefire). North Korean experts know that Kim Jong Un was one of North Korea’s top aides and trustees. As deputy director of the ruling Labor Party’s propaganda department, he was responsible for conveying his brother’s messages and, of course, improving his public image.
But ordinary South Koreans knew little about him, and this secrecy sparked curiosity. People were amazed at this representative and missionary, a city that had fair and beautiful skin and came from a backward country. He was a representative of the leadership who had not travelled abroad since he came to power. Choi Monson hosted the “Princess” as the governor of the city where the Winter Olympics were being held. He described his father’s “pain” as “a very calm and calm girl” who was “quiet and selective” and was careful in his choice of words.
During the trip, Yu Jong was pleased with the joint Korean-Korean hockey team and sat down at the reopening ceremony with South Korean President Monjahein and US Vice President Mike Pence. Of course, Pence did not touch the “Princess”. Yuhong was photographed watching games and programs and had a smile on his face, and he seemed pleased with the host. The media even went so far as to call her “Ivanka Trump of North Korea.””
This was a kind of public relations performance by one of North Korea’s top advertisers. He gave a human face to a regime that Trump sought to portray as a hated state and a filthy nuclear regime. He was trying to do so while at the same time working hard to secure a diplomatic meeting with his brother, which would have made his brother the first North Korean leader to meet with a US president.
This effort made his brother’s regime look like a regime that was not afraid to meet and talk to diplomats. This role showed that Yu Jong not only strengthened his position in the party and in the leadership of the country but also showed that he could do well in the role given to him. Yu Jung’s exact date of birth is unknown, but he is thought to be in his 30s. His birthday was September 26, 1989, when he was placed on the sanctions list by the US Treasury Department for human rights abuses and severe censorship activities. But South Korea’s intelligence reports date 1987 more closely. More details from his childhood are also overshadowed by ambiguity.
What we do know is that Kim Jong Un, like his brother, studied in Bern, the capital of Switzerland. He studied at the Liberfeld School near Bern and received his diploma in informatics. Her aunt and aunt, who helped raise her and her brother, told the Washington Post that she had always served him during her studies in Switzerland.
Madden says on her blog that she stayed in Switzerland for four years and received a degree equivalent to the sixth grade in the United States. In Switzerland, adults who sided with the siblings tried to introduce them to a normal life. In fact, they tried to make the two siblings look normal, but many things in their lives are still unknown: their true identities, their wealth, their behaviour with their mother’s breast cancer at the time, and so on. The Kim brothers had one thing in common as children, and that was their “loneliness” and “loneliness.” This is an experience that few people can empathize with.
Kim Jong Un was the only one who decided to raise and raise them together, and experts like Madden say he was deliberate. “When they grew up and became more aware of the conditions in which they were raised, it was a difficult reality that they had to face,” Madden said. “Of course, it was harder for them to face each other every day.” He adds:
Pakto mountain range
Given the extreme secrecy surrounding the Kim family, we don’t know how difficult it was for Kimiao Jong to break stereotypes and gender discrimination and achieve a high-level hierarchy of power. But she is not an ordinary girl. Kim Jong Un had more children than Kim Jong Un and Kim Jong Un. Of course, they have uncles, aunts and uncles, and as a result, they have cousins, aunts and uncles. But Madden believes Princess and Owen are the only two to be Kim Jong-un’s true heirs to the Paktu dynasty; the mountain refers to a mythical mountain on North Korea’s border with China.
Paektu is a legendary and sacred mountain that is claimed to have been the base of Kimmelung during the guerrilla warfare and the birthplace of Kim Jong-il. North Korea’s current leader (Kim Jong-un) travels to the mountain whenever he wants to emphasize the importance of political decisions. Madden adds: “As far as North Korean political culture is concerned, Kimmel-Sung had no legitimate ancestry.” If Kim Jong-un wanted to bring the “Princess” closer to power, it is now clear that the late North Korean leader has achieved what he wants and that his daughter will be seen step by step with her brother.
All the experts that the Cyanide consulted with for this report agree that being a woman does not mean that Kim Jong Un will step down. But it’s more about his position than changing gender issues within North Korea. What this means is that she has been able to overcome the hierarchy of power simply by being the daughter of the former leader and the sister of the current leader, and this has nothing to do with the elimination of gender discrimination. Basically, “Jojoong” may not be in a position to break these discriminations, or at least put them aside.
“I don’t think gender can be eliminated,” says Sokil Park. Obviously, this is the first issue. “Another issue is that North Korea is a patriarchal society with a patriarchal system, but of the medieval type, but I think the Pakto dynasty, the lineage and the blood of Kim, will continue to prevail.” Ms Lee also believes that “this girl’s lineage is more important to alchemy than gender.” “For years, Korean observers have believed that Koreans do not reflect the presence of a woman at the helm of power,” she said. “But I have been saying for years that she is likely to be the next female leader because she is the best Kim for the role.”
The views and opinions expressed in this opinion article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Eastern Herald.