North Korea: Kim Jong-un's sister holds senior title

This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 12, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un Image copyright AFP
Image caption Kim Yo-jong has been seen accompanying Kim Jong-un in official appearances

The younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been referred to as senior party official for the first time in state media.

Kim Yo-jong, who is in her mid to late twenties, was identified as a vice-director of a department within the powerful Central Committee, KCNA said.

Kim Jong-un is the third generation of the Kim family to rule North Korea.

His aunt also had a prominent role in the party but disappeared after her husband was executed for treason.

Observers say Kim Yo-jong could end up also playing a significant supportive leadership role.

She was first seen publically at the funeral of her father, Kim Jong-il, in 2011.

Since then she has on occasion been seen in political events and "field guidance trips" accompanying her brother but without any official title in the party.

Kim Jong-un, 31, and his sister are both children of Kim Jong-il and his late wife, Ko Yong-hui.

They are believed to have gone to the same boarding school in Switzerland as their older brother Kim Jong-chol.

Kim Jong-chol does not have any publicly defined role in the government.