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Here's What You Need To Know About Kim Jong Un's Sister Before She Attends The Winter Olympics

Kim Yo Jong has been working away quietly in the background but now she's stepping into the spotlight in South Korea.

Posted on February 8, 2018, at 12:19 p.m. ET

The upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea became even more intriguing on Wednesday, when North Korea announced that Kim Yo Jong, the elusive sister of the country's leader, would be attending the opening ceremonies.

Her visit marks the first time a member of the Kim family, which has ruled over North Korea since the country was partitioned after World War II, has traveled south of the DMZ dividing the two countries since the Korean War.
Wong Maye-e / AP

Her visit marks the first time a member of the Kim family, which has ruled over North Korea since the country was partitioned after World War II, has traveled south of the DMZ dividing the two countries since the Korean War.

Her brother, Kim Jong Un, has been in power since the death of their father in 2011. Since then, he's expanded the country's nuclear stockpile and recently engaged in a high-stakes war of words with US President Donald Trump.

The North Korean side of feud is likely at least in part by Kim Yo Jong's design: Her listing on a US Treasury Department sanctions list last year gave her official title as "Vice Director of the Workers' Party of Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department." Treasury describes the PAD as "North Korea’s primary agency responsible for both newspaper and broadcast censorship, among other things."Reports indicate that she's the one who carefully manages her brother's image and appearances, including visits to theme parks and factories to look at things.
- / AFP / Getty Images

The North Korean side of feud is likely at least in part by Kim Yo Jong's design: Her listing on a US Treasury Department sanctions list last year gave her official title as "Vice Director of the Workers' Party of Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department." Treasury describes the PAD as "North Korea’s primary agency responsible for both newspaper and broadcast censorship, among other things."

Reports indicate that she's the one who carefully manages her brother's image and appearances, including visits to theme parks and factories to look at things.

Kim Yo Jong last year also took a spot on the politburo of North Korea's all-powerful Workers' Party as an alternate, a sign that observers said showcased just how large a role she plays in the government.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Not too much else is known about Kim Yo Jong, who is rarely seen in public, which is honestly about par for the course for her family.

Kim Yo Jong's first recorded public appearance: The North Korean princess appeared among the mourners at her father… https://t.co/wHFNiVQyjM

She's reportedly only about 30 or 31, attended the same Swiss school as her brothers, and has long been groomed to take up the same support role that her aunt played for her father.

Ahn Young-joon / AP

Aside from attending the opening ceremonies, Kim will also have lunch with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the highest level meeting between the countries to take place in the south.

Moon has been an advocate for calming tensions on the peninsula, even as its allies in the United States and Japan have attempted to increase the pressure on North Korea.Making things especially awkward, Kim's trip comes right at the same time as US Vice President Mike Pence is in town for the Winter Olympics as well. Protocol officials are already trying to figure out how to handle having the two of them on the same dais, just seats apart, as the 2018 Games open on Friday.
Yonhap News / Yonhap News/Newscom

Moon has been an advocate for calming tensions on the peninsula, even as its allies in the United States and Japan have attempted to increase the pressure on North Korea.

Making things especially awkward, Kim's trip comes right at the same time as US Vice President Mike Pence is in town for the Winter Olympics as well. Protocol officials are already trying to figure out how to handle having the two of them on the same dais, just seats apart, as the 2018 Games open on Friday.

While her trip is definitely a huge deal — one that plays into South Korea's efforts to make the Pyeongchang games the "peace Olympics" — the goodwill isn't likely to last once the last medal is awarded.

Analysts recently told BuzzFeed News that the state of tension between North Korea and the rest of the world will likely go right back to their normal high as soon as the Olympics are completed.
Yonhap News / Yonhap News/Newscom

Analysts recently told BuzzFeed News that the state of tension between North Korea and the rest of the world will likely go right back to their normal high as soon as the Olympics are completed.

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