Wednesday (June 17th): I am sorry Asia, but what was up yesterday?

Kim Yo-jong

Name? Kim Yo-jong

Westphalian identity? North Korean

Age? 32

Why is she in the news? As we briefly mentioned yesterday, after two years of successive approximation, Kim Yo-jong announced that North Korea had destroyed the liaison office with South Korea. With this move, North Korea took another step on the escalation scale and put the countries back to a relationship similar to the one of 2017. 

Why do we care? We have had our eyes on Kim Yo-jong for a few months now and thus, follow her every step. As a potential successor to Kim Jong-un, she has moved up the ranks of every IR analyst. 

Why should you care? Her position towards the South is a lot more aggressive than those of her brother. While this attitude could be a strategic move to please the hawks in the North Korean military, it is also yet another reason for everyone to keep an eye on her. The world knew nothing about Kim Jong-un when he came to power, should his sister succeed him, this will not be the case.

Who else cares? Moon Jae-in, the South Korean President. Since he came into office he has been rather liberal and keen on approaching North Korea. With recent developments, all his success has been eradicated. Lucky him, he just got reelection for Corona reasons. As such, Moon has another five years to achieve his goals; if he fails, we might see a more conservative government in South Korea with a much more conservative approach to North Korea. 

Any further comments? While North Korea’s actions have largely been classified as reactions to South Korean activists’ provocations, the North’s is a delayed reaction to the disappointing Hanoi Summit with Trump in 2018. Since then, no progress or concessions from the have been made and there is no longer a reason for North Korea to hold up their side of the agreement.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator