And the move will undoubtedly stoke speculation about the role Kim’s younger sibling plays within his regime, with some sources even having tipped her as a possible successor. Kim Yo-jong reacted after President Moon described Pyongyang’s recent missile test as “concerning”.
He also suggested Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington should not create hurdles for talks in remarks which apparently infuriated the 33-year-old, according to state news agency KCNA reported today.
North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the sea near Japan last week, indicating further progress in its weapons programme and turning up the heat on the United States.
After the launches, South Korean President Jae-in Moon said the South, the North and the United States should make efforts to continue dialogue.
Kim Yo-jong reacted by calling Moon’s remarks disgraceful for agreeing with the United States, which condemned the missile test and said the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes constituted serious threats to international peace and security.
In a statement published by KNCA, she said: “Such illogical and brazen-faced behaviour of South Korea is exactly the same as the gangster-like logic of the US.”
North Korea on Friday said it had launched a new type of tactical short-range ballistic missile.
However, there was speculation she may have fallen out of favour after she subsequently missed four meetings.
Speaking last year in the wake of widespread speculation about Kim Jong-un’s health, Roy Calley, a former BBC journalist, said Kim Yo-jong would face significant – but nor insurmountable – hurdles should she take over.
Mr Calley, who chronicled his numerous visits to the Hermit State in his book Look With Your Eyes and Tell the World, told Express.co.uk: “Women are very much second best in the country.
“That was brought home to me on many occasions, even in such a simple way when I offered a lady a seat on the bus I was travelling on, and the men looked at me in shock and she was very surprised in a pleasant way.
“In the country they work as hard as the men ploughing the fields etc.
“A woman leaves her family completely when she gets married and moves in with her husband’s family until they qualify for a house or apartment.
“Not to be married by the age of 30 is unusual in their society.”
However, he said: “I don’t see a problem in the sister becoming the new leader, although I’ll be interested to see what she’s going to be called.
“The Kim dynasty is revered, so the fact that she’s female won’t be a problem in my opinion.”
Nevertheless, speaking this year, North Korean defector Yeonmi Park said: “I still have contacts in North Korea and people in North Korea giving me information.
“We can agree that Kim Yo-jong is not taking over North Korea and I don’t think that is in her interest.
“Kim Jong-un is very much in power and he’s not dying anytime soon.”