As Kim Jong Un turns hostile to South Korea, his sister does the talking

By Choe Sang-Hun

When North Korea decided to join the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and kick off a giddy period of rapprochement on the peninsula, its charm offensive was fronted by a smiling face: Kim Yo Jong, the only sister of the North’s top leader, Kim Jong Un.

Now, as Kim threatens to extinguish the fragile détente with a new cycle of bellicose actions and military provocations, it’s his sister who is again speaking for the nation, this time heaping scorn on South Korea — a signal of her deepening clout in the hereditary regime.

“It was sickening to listen to his speech,” Kim Yo Jong said of the South’s leader, Moon Jae-in, in a statement Wednesday, referring to his message this week calling for peace on the Korean Peninsula. “He seems to be insane, though he appears to be normal outwardly.”

“So I decided to prepare a bomb of words to let it known to our people,” she said.

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