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Kim Yo-jong became an alternate member of the party's powerful Politburo

Kim Yo-jong became an alternate member of the party's powerful Politburo

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has promoted his younger sister to a senior post in the one-party state, according to state media.Kim Yo-jong became an alternate member of the party's powerful Politburo, the decision-making body presided over by her brother, the official KCNA news agency said on Sunday.The promotion was announced along with those for dozens of other top officials at a meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea on Saturday in the capital, Pyongyang.The Central Committee is one of the leadership committees of the party, consisting of the politburo - the highest executive organ - as well as the secretariat.

Kim Yo-jong, according to South Korean media, is 30 years old.Since inheriting power from his father in 2011, Kim has placed his younger sister in various positions in order to strengthen the position of the family within the country's leadership.She has frequently been seen accompanying her brother on his "field guidance trips" and other events and is known to have been involved in the party's propaganda operations. Both were born to the late former ruler Kim Jong-il and his third partner, former dancer Ko Yong-hui. The family has ruled North Korea since its creation in 1948.

Like her older half-sister, Sul-song, Yo-jong was a favourite child and expressed an early interest in North Korean politics," wrote Madden, who is also predicted that "Yo-jong will be a power player" in North Korean "for a long time to come as her career is just getting started".Her new position indicates she has become a replacement for Kim Jong-un's aunt, Kim Kyong-hui, who had been a key decision-maker when former leader Kim Jong-il was alive.In January, the US Treasury blacklisted Kim Yo-jong along with other North Korean officials over "severe human rights abuses".

Since coming to power, Kim has overseen four of the country's six nuclear tests - most recently in September - while cementing his grip on power through a series of purges.An uncle, Jang Song-thaek, was executed in 2013 for treason and a half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was killed by a toxic nerve agent in a Cold War-style assassination at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February.During Saturday's party meeting, Kim acknowledged the country faced with "ordeals" under a "stern" situation, but claimed that its economy had grown this year despite ever-tighter sanctions.He described the North Korea's atomic weapons as a "treasured sword" to protect it from aggression.

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