Kim Jong-un attends music concert in Pyongyang

North Korean despot Kim Jong-un received a standing ovation after he attended a concert in Pyongyang along with his sister Kim Yo Jong – who has been recently promoted into his inner cabal. 

The dictator held the concert for delegates at the 5th Conference of Cell Chairpersons of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Kim is believed to have promoted his sister to the inner politburo to replace his aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, who was a key adviser to his father, Kim Jong Il. 

Kim Jong-un received a standing ovation at a concert in Pyongyang according to new photographs released by the nation’s state news agency earlier today 

Kim attended the conference with his sister Kim Yo Jong, circled, who has been promoted to his inner sanctum

Kim attended the conference with his sister Kim Yo Jong, circled, who has been promoted to his inner sanctum

North Korean expert Michael Madden of John Hopkins University said: ‘It shows that her portfolio and writ is far more substantive than previously believed and it is a further consolidation of the Kim family’s power.’ 

As a result of her central role in the regime, Ms Kim has been placed on a US Treasury blacklist over ‘servere human rights abuses’. 

Kim’s regime has faced constant international diplomatic pressure over his insistence on continuing with his nuclear weapons programme. 

He has instructed his scientists to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the United States with a nuclear weapon.  

Writing in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Duyeon Kim said: ‘Pyongyang and Washington are caught in a vicious cycle of action and reaction. If nothing happens to break the cycle, it will continue until one side either stands down, which is very unlikely, or, far worse, takes military action.’

President Donald Trump has tweeted that the prospect of Kim being able to hit the US with a nuclear missile ‘won’t happen’. 

But despite continuing sanctions and threats of military retaliation, North Korea continues to defy the international community.  

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently offered unconditional talks with North Korea only to be quickly shot down by the White House, where not only Trump has talked up the possibility of military confrontation. National security adviser H.R. McMaster also has warned the potential for war is ‘increasing every day’. 

North Korea has conducted more than 20 missile launches since Trump came to office. It also tested what it described as a hydrogen bomb – an underground blast so big it registered as a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Then in late November, it test-fired a new intercontinental missile in the clearest demonstration yet that all of America was within its striking range. 

Trump has called Kim ‘short and fat’ and ‘a sick puppy’. At the UN in September, he lampooned Kim as ‘Rocket Man … on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime’. 

Kim replied by calling Trump ‘mentally deranged’ and a ‘dotard’. North Korea’s foreign minister then warned of a possible atmospheric nuclear test – done by no nation since 1980.