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North Korea leader`s aunt unscathed after husband`s execution

Last Updated: Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 10:28

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 late yesterday.

Her name was listed along with a horde of top party and military cadres including defence 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 favour 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 - 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-Hui 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.

First Published: Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 10:28
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