Kim Yo-jong when she visited South Korea during the PyeongChang Olympics. Some South Koreans even formed a fan club at one time, but she’s now attracting dislike in the country for her repeated insults against the South. Photo taken at the Blue House in February 2018.

During the speech she claimed that her brother “never slept despite a high fever” and called for “vengeance against the South”

Kim Jong-un’s sister and the Deputy Department Director of the Publicity and Information Department of the Workers' Party of Korea Kim Yo-jong spoke at the National Emergency Anti-epidemic Campaign Review Meeting on August 10. One of ASIAPRESS’s reporting partners watched Kim Yo-jong’s speech through KCTV. It was the first time that a speech by Kim Yo-jong was made public. Through the reporting partner, ASIAPRESS heard from the reporting partner and those around her about the speech. (KANG Ji-won)

◆ Kim Yo-jong suggests that her brother got COVID-19

At the meeting, Kim Jong-un claimed that North Korea had achieved a victory over the coronavirus. Kim Yo-jong expressed great admiration for her brother’s outstanding leadership during her speech, saying that he had worked hard for the people of North Korea.

“Even though he was seriously ill with a high fever, he could not lie down for a moment thinking about the people he had to take care of until the end in the face of the anti-epidemic war,” she said.

In saying this, Kim suggested that her brother had been infected with COVID-19 and, eyes glistening with tears, she praised his sacrifice for the people of North Korea.

The ASIAPRESS reporting partner who saw her speech on TV is a woman living in North Hamgyung Province. Her interview with ASIAPRESS can be found below.


―― Kim Yo-jong claimed that Kim Jong-un didn’t rest despite a high fever and worked for the North Korean people.

“She said that he worked without sleep, but actually he did absolutely nothing for the people. People around me showed little interest in Yo-jong’s speech. There was a person who told me that, “(Even Kim Jong-un seems to have gotten COVID-19, so if the top leadership got it, then everyone has, so I hope they open the borders.”


North Korean authorities officially acknowledged the first outbreak of COVID-19 on May 12. After that, the coronavirus spread in a short time nationwide, leading many people to hope that the country would achieve “herd immunity.” Everyone hopes for the lifting of the border closure and the restart of trade because the North Korean people are suffering due to severe food shortages due to the government’s long “war against COVID-19.” In short, if the government has truly declared victory over COVID-19, people want the restart of trade.

◆ Kim Yo-jong’s statement expresses hostility toward South Korea

During Kim Yo-jong’s speech, she claimed that it was clear that the coronavirus had entered the country through goods from South Korea. She claimed that the “puppet conservative party” was behind the sending of propaganda leaflets by defector groups, and warned that if these activities continue, North Korea would take “very strong vengeance.”


――Kim Yo-jong claimed that the coronavirus came from South Korea.

“There are people who don’t know whether it is true that defectors sent the coronavirus into North Korea through propaganda leaflets, and others who believe that that’s what could have happened. People who have family members (in South Korea) are very sensitive to what people around them think so that they don’t get persecuted (for the supposed actions take by their family members in South Korea).”


――Kim Yo-jong insulted in stark terms South Korea’s nascent Yoon Seok-yeol administration, calling it a puppet regime.

“She called for violence against South Korea it seems, but I’m not sure what the intention was – certainly the statement shows the regime’s not interested in getting aid (from South Korea). But the people of North Korea are suffering from the lack of food…”

※ ASIAPRESS communicates with its reporting partners through Chinese cell phones smuggled into North Korea.