Kim Jong-un’s sister has placed Pyongyang on lockdown in a drastic bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, foreign media reports.
Earlier this month, the tyrant lifted quarantine measures in the city of Kaesong after a suspected case of Covid-19 – and North Korea has still yet to confirm a single infection.
However, his sister Kim Yo-jong has now taken charge of a similar project in Pyongyang, it is claimed.
A North Korean source told the Voice of America: “All international borders remain closed. Supplies coming to Nampo seaport remains suspended as there are no ships sailing in from China’s Dalian port where COVID-19 cases were detected.
“Only COVID-19 related shipments are being allowed through Sinuiju-Dandong border.”
They added: “Kim Yo-jong is the commander in chief of all quarantine efforts.”
Another source added: “Checks have been stepped up at railways and roads to keep people from other parts of North Korea out of Pyongyang.
“Checks are conducted so often that not even an ant could get through.”
Earlier this month, Chang Song-min, an ex-aide to late-South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, sensationally claimed that Kim was comatose following similar reports in April .
However, pictures later emerged of the dictator chairing a coronavirus meeting and inspecting crops damaged by a typhoon.
Song-min also said that Kim was preparing to hand over the reins to his younger sister.
She has not been since July 27 – and some fear Kim may have taken action against her.
Professor Nam Sung-wook, of Korea University in Seoul, told The Chosun Ilbo: “In the past, anyone was deprived of their position the moment they were described as the number two person in the North.
“There must be a semblance of checks and balances, although Kim Yo-jong is a family member.”
But Professor Sung-Yoon Lee, from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in the US, believes steps are being taken which would allow her to fill her brother’s shoes.
He earlier told Daily Star Online : “She is, I would say, an unprecedented strategic weapon for the North Korean regime…because she’s young and in the eye of many pretty.
“Because she’s only 32 and apparently not obese or afflicted with heart disease, diabetes –as her brother and their father and grandfather were – one can assume that she might be in power for the next 20 years or even 50 years, who knows.
“And the fact that she’s a woman in a very male-dominated, chauvinistic political culture gives her enormous power in handling the nation’s relations with the US and South Korea.
“She casts a softer feminine glow on the brutish very unattractive facade that is North Korea itself.”