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Mysterious Lurker At Trump-Kim Summit Is North Korea's Most Powerful Woman

There's something intriguing about North Korea, isn't there? Just because it's a mystery, closed off from the world for so long, and one that seems to get far more press than such a small, poor country ought to deserve.

And just when we think we've unraveled a North Korean mystery, another one pops up. This time, it was at one of the most covered events of the year, and it was happening just around the edges.

When Trump met Kim for the second time in Hanoi, Vietnam, they were obviously very much in the spotlight.

Getty Images | Saul Loeb

Really, at a summit negotiating the nuclear disarmament of North Korea, who else would the cameras focus on?

Well, for some eagle-eyed and possibly bored members of the media covering the summit, there was a game going on behind the scenes, trying to spot North Korea's most powerful woman.

It's a bit odd, but on the fringes of many scenes from the summit, there's a woman lurking in the background.

That woman is Kim Yo Jong, and she's Kim Jong Un's sister.

Like so many aspects of the Hermit Kingdom, Kim Yo Jong is a bit of a mystery to outsiders despite her high rank in the nation.

Whether it's a quiet spot on a patio or just behind some greenery, Kim Yo Jong always seems to be on the fringes.

She's Kim Jong Il's youngest child, but her exact age is unknown, believed to be between 29 and 31, and she's credited with helping Kim Jong Un succeed their father rather than one of their brothers.

However, she has seldom been in the spotlight.

Maybe that's because of the amount her brother gets, and maybe she's just shy.

But she only made her first public appearance in 2011, at Kim Jon Il's funeral.

She was even spotted holding an ashtray for her brother.

Which seems like an odd thing for her to do, considering her status, but as South Korea's Unification Minister explained, "It is more natural for Kim's sister to hold the ashtray than for others to do it. If it was any other person, it could be interpreted as trying to flatter the leader."

But that's not to suggest that all she does is hold her brother's ashtray.

Actually, she has a huge role in North Korea's government, heading up the propaganda department of the Worker's Party of Korea.

So, she's heavily involved in maintaining her brother's god-like image in North Korea — which might further explain why she's only ever seen on the periphery.

h/t Business Insider

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