April 13, 2024
Opinion

Book review: ‘The Sister’ tells the tale of North Korean ‘despotess’ Kim Yo Jong

Sung-yoon Lee combines history and speculation to paint DPRK leader’s sister as ‘devil woman,’ with mixed results

The last year has seen the publication of several noteworthy books on women in North Korea. Titles like Chun Su-jin’s “North Korean Women in Power” and Suzy Kim’s “Among Women across Worlds” have closely examined the women who have risen up the ranks in the DPRK’s highly patriarchal society.

But no woman in North Korea is as well-known or powerful as Kim Yo Jong, the sister of leader Kim Jong Un, and in “The Sister,” Tufts University professor Sung-yoon Lee provides the first book-length account in English of the peace envoy-turned-regime mouthpiece who some have argued is first in line to the throne.

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