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NK leader’s sister revealed pregnancy during Seoul trip: reports

Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, revealed to Seoul officials during her trip to South Korea this month that she is pregnant with her second child, local media reported Tuesday. 

Kim Yo-jong (left), North Korean leader Kim Jong-un`s sister talks to South Korean President Moon Jae-in (right). (Yonhap)
Kim Yo-jong (left), North Korean leader Kim Jong-un`s sister talks to South Korean President Moon Jae-in (right). (Yonhap)

According to reports citing unnamed sources, Kim Yo-jong told South Korean officials that she was with her second child during her Feb. 9-11 visit to the South.

Kim, who came as Kim Jong-un’s special envoy, displayed several signs of pregnancy including avoiding certain foods, the sources said.

An unnamed government source confirmed her pregnancy to Yonhap News, but South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae neither confirmed nor denied the report, simply saying “no comment” to reporters asking questions.

Meanwhile, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said the South Korean government “has no knowledge” of Kim Yo-jong’s pregnancy.

During her visit, accompanied by the North’s nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam, Kim Yo-jong invited President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang on behalf of her brother.

The revelation that it was her second pregnancy, allegedly made by Kim herself, would also confirm rumors that she had already given birth to a child.

It was rumored that she had given birth to her first child some time in 2015.

While the gender of her first child remains largely veiled, Kim Yo-jong’s husband is speculated to be the son of Choe Ryong-hae, who is a party secretary and a top Kim Jong-un advisor. South Korean spy agency said in 2015 that she married her college friend, but whether it was Choe’s son was not revealed.

An anonymous government official was also quoted as saying that the fact that Kim Jong-un sent his pregnant sister to the South shows the urgency with which Pyongyang is seeking relief from international sanctions.

Kim Yo-jong’s second child would be a new addition to the so-called Baekdu bloodline, the direct lineage of North Korean state founder Kim Il-sung.

Being born to the line would grant a life of privilege, but it would be an overgeneralization to assume it would provide “safety” as well.

Kim Jong-nam, the older half-brother of the North Korean leader and a member of the royal bloodline, was fatally poisoned at an airport in Malaysia last year. He was allegedly murdered upon Kim Jong-un’s orders which analysts see as a move made to eliminate any threats to his power.

By Jung Min-kyung (mkjung@heraldcorp.com)
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