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‘Top-Class Idiots’: Why a Demoted Kim Yo Jong Still Has the Power To Slam Seoul

Sung-Yoon Lee speaks with NK News about the foreign affairs implications of Kim Yo Jong's expected promotion in North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly.

Kim Yo Jong, the North Korean leader’s famous sister, appeared to fall from grace when she was abruptly demoted from the country’s powerful Political Bureau over the weekend. But only a few days later, she hurled insults at Seoul in scathing state media remarks, calling South Koreans “top-class idiots” and leading some experts to believe that she’s actually emerging as an up-and-coming figure.


Sung-Yoon Lee, a professor of Korean Studies at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, pointed out how Kim Yo Jong “air clapped” and “sat still, looking bored and not taking notes” at times in state media footage of the Party Congress.

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