The biggest potential hang-up: She’s a woman in a society rigidly controlled by men. While many North Korea watchers say bloodline is more important than gender, others are skeptical.

“Yo Jong’s role will likely be limited to a regent at most” due to North Korea’s feudal patriarchy, said Yoo Ho-yeol, who teaches North Korean studies at Korea University and formerly advised South Korea’s unification ministry and defense ministry. “Not only the male-dominant leadership, but also ordinary people there would resist a female leader.”…

The other potential male Kim heirs are younger or less experienced in the halls of power in Pyongyang. His brother Kim Jong Chol has no official title and seems to be more interested in playing guitar than politics, while his nephew, Kim Han Sol, has denounced the regime and is believed to be living abroad.