North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's younger sister has made her first public appearance in months.

His second-in-command Kim Yo-jong was pictured inspecting recovery efforts at a flooded village today.

The tyrant was rumoured to have hidden his would-be successor from sight after being irritated at her rising stardom.

Kim has previously executed members of his family and South Korean spies had been scrambling to track down her after she disappeared on July 27

But her sighting today at Kimhwa County in the country's south east shows she is still in her despotic brother's good books.

Yo-jong was touted as a potential successor earlier this year after Jong-un mysteriously disappeared for weeks.

Speculation grew that he had been left in a "vegetative state" after a botched heart operation until he finally resurfaced in May.

His sister had been growing in influence voicing sharp criticisms of South Korea in public until her last public appearance on July 27.

Rachel Minyoung Lee, a former North Korea analyst for the US government, has said: "Prior to this, Kim Yo Jong was portrayed in state media as Kim Jong Un's sister, his protocol officer, or one of his accompanying officials.

"Now, North Koreans know for sure there is more to her than that."

  • Kim Jong-un 'narrowly avoided assassination attempt' by North Korean foes

Summer storms and floods have destroyed thousands of homes and worsened food shortages in the secretive socialist state.

It comes as state media said Pyongyang had discovered "faults" in its efforts to battle COVID-19 in recent weeks.

And a rare apology from Kim for North Korea's killing a South Korean official in waters off the west coast of the peninsula.

Kim said of the storms and other natural disasters: "This year has been one of unprecedented hardships."

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