The aunt of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been named to an ad-hoc state committee, the country’s official media reported, an indication that the execution of her husband and the country’s No. 2 has not immediately diminished her influence.
The fate of Kim Kyong Hui – a younger sister of late leader Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un’s father – was questioned after North Korea announced Friday that her husband, Jang Song Thaek, was executed for trying to overthrow the government.
Considered extremely close to her brother Kim Jong Il, Kim Kyong Hui has risen through the ranks in recent years, helping to groom Kim Jong Un as the country’s leader. The 67-year-old holds a slew of top posts, including ruling Workers’ Party secretary and four-star army general.
Some analysts said she may be spared her husband’s fate because she is directly related to the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung, grandfather of Kim Jong Un.
If her health condition allows it, Kim Kyong Hui is expected to join other top officials Tuesday and attend ceremonies marking the second anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death, Hong said. Looking pale and gaunt lately in official appearances, Kim Kyong Hui’s public activities have been sharply reduced in recent months amid media reports that she suffers liver, heart and other ailments.