North Korean leader's influential aunt remains in power after uncle Jang's execution

SEOUL Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:17am EST

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) salutes as a honour guard march past as he and his aunt Kim Kyong-hui (L), Premier Pak Pong-ju attend the opening ceremony of the Cemetery of Fallen Fighters of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang July 25, 2013, as part of celebrations ahead of the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War. REUTERS/Jason Lee

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) salutes as a honour guard march past as he and his aunt Kim Kyong-hui (L), Premier Pak Pong-ju attend the opening ceremony of the Cemetery of Fallen Fighters of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang July 25, 2013, as part of celebrations ahead of the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee

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SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's influential aunt Kim Kyong Hui remains a part of the regime's inner circle, even after the execution of her husband last week, the second most powerful man in the isolated nation.

North Korea late on Saturday named 67-year-old Kim Kyong Hui, daughter of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung, as one of the funeral committee members for North Korea's ruling party, a prestigious position.

Kim's uncle Jang Song Thaek was killed last week just days before the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il, the father of North Korea's current ruler.

Jang had been executed for attempting to seize power and for driving the economy "into an uncontrollable catastrophe."

After Jang's downfall, the fate of Kim Kyong Hui had been unclear. North Korea's news agency KCNA on Saturday said Kim had been asked to prepare the funeral for Kim Kuk Thae, chairman of the Control Commission of the ruling Workers' Party.

The funeral committee list is one of few indications of North Korean officials' status. Among the members were North Korea's figurehead Kim Yong Nam, Premier Pak Pong Ju, Vice Marshal Choe Ryong Hae and others, according to KCNA.

Kim Kyong Hui is one of the few blood-relatives of young leader Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, who died in December 2011.

North Korea will mark the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il on Tuesday.

(Changes spelling of North Korean official's name and title according to KCNA)

(Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Michael Perry)

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Comments (2)
ckd1358 wrote:
Someday there will be a TV series about the internal power struggles within North Korea.

12월 15, 2013 1:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
HuwSayer wrote:
NK is a weird place, where being on the funeral committee is a sign of power and influence – guess it’s because they are so good at murdering each other.

But once again this shows that behind every spoilt boy is a domineering woman – in this case the Aunt (not the mother) and who some might feel has as strong a claim to the throne (being closer to the dynasty’s founder). In all the pictures Jong-Un looks like the little boy lost who has been pushed to the front of the photo to perform for the public with his silly salutes and ridiculous quiff – the crazy thing is, he might actually believe he is in charge.

12월 15, 2013 5:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
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