Her political star has risen steadily since her brother took power in 2011, leading to speculation that she could one day become the country’s first female ruler. But while there are plausible reasons for her recent elevation, analysts say, the traditional patriarchal nature of North Korean society will likely prevent her from advancing higher up the ranks.

“She’s gone from being her brother’s proxy to his protocol assistant, to his eyes and ears, to a punisher,” comments Kim Seung-chul, a defector who runs the Seoul-based North Korea Reform Radio, which broadcasts news into the North…

In another statement, she assailed North Korean defectors as “human scum little short of wild animals who betrayed their own homeland.” She described President Moon as an “insane” man who put his neck in “the noose of the pro-U.S. flunkyism.”

Such language suggests that while her political status may have been upgraded, her political acumen and maturity have not, says Kim Seung-chul.