NoKor head’s kin unmoved by husband’s killing


SEOUL: The powerful aunt of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appears unscathed after the shock purge of her husband who was executed for treason, according to a report from state media.

Kim Kyoung-hui, sister of late leader Kim Jong-il, was named as a member of the state funeral committee for a senior party official who died on Friday, according to a report by KCNA on Saturday.

Her name was listed along with a horde of top party and military cadres including defense chief Jang Jong-nam and Choe Ryong-hae, the director of the North Korean military’s political bureau and Jong-un’s close confidant.

News of Kim Kyong-hui attending an official function indicates that she remains in favor with her nephew, who has been consolidating his grip on power since his father’s death two years ago.

The report came days after Jang Song-thaek, Kim Kyoung-hui’s powerful husband and political regent of Kim Jong-un, was executed for corruption and plotting to overthrow the state, among other charges.

His execution on Friday, which was carried out only four days after he was ousted from all his party and military positions, was the biggest political upheaval since the young Kim Jong-un took power after the death of his father in December 2011.

Jang played key role in cementing the leadership of the young and inexperienced Kim Jong-un.

But the 67-year-old’s growing political influence and power was increasingly resented by Kim Jong-un, analysts said.

Jang and Kim Kyoung-uui were once regarded as the ultimate power couple in Pyongyang, as both held key positions at the ruling party.

But Kim Kyoung-hui, 67, has been less visible in the past year, with reports that she was seriously ill and had sought hospital treatment in Singapore.



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