Through the circus of it all, and the Machiavellian fear, Yo-jong had lost one of the last remaining certainties in her life. The people that ‘shared’ her social circle, were always coming-and-going. Exile assassination, even defection was common – her aunt defected in 1998 – but for a child that had spent so much of her life in isolation, only ever flirting, when permitted, with new crowds, this was different. Seven years after burying her mother, her father was now dead; she was starkly more alone in the world. Looking around her, there was very little remaining. Her two eldest siblings were becoming strangers to her, Jong-chol, her eldest maternal brother was suddenly in the uncomfortable position of having to lay low, so as to not risk undermining the transition of power (he did not return to North Korea for the funeral). And Jong-un, understandably busy running the country, had also recently married a modern-minded wife, Ri Sol-ju, who not content to play the traditional Korean house-maker, was increasingly becoming political, accompanying the new leader on official visits.