by REERA YOO | @reeraboo
North Korea has offered to send Kim Jong-un’s younger sister as an envoy to a Seoul food festival in March, an organizer told Reuters on Thursday.
The Association for South-North Economic Cooperation, a private South Korean business group with ties in the North, submitted an application to South Korea’s Unification Ministry for the joint festival, according to the Korea Economic Daily. The group claims that its North Korean counterparts provided them a list of officials to participate in the event, and Kim Yo-jong was listed as a participant.
However, there is some skepticism over the group’s application. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Unification Ministry said it could not “confirm the existence of the North Korean entity” and noted inconsistencies in the association’s proposal, including Kim’s official position in the communist state.
Kim, who is presumed to be 27, was identified by North Korea’s state media last month as the vice department director of the ruling party’s central committee, but the South Korean association’s application named her as the director.
The group was also not listed in business directories and its website could not be found on Naver, South Korea’s leading search engine. In addition, North Korea had not mentioned Kim’s visit through its state media.
The food festival is scheduled for March and is set to celebrate the Korean peninsula’s 70th anniversary of independence from Japanese colonial rule, said the organizers.
If Kim is approved to attend the event, then it would mark the first visit made by an immediate member of North Korea’s ruling family.
Photo courtesy of Wikitree