Tags: NKorea | politics | Kim

NKorea Leader's Aunt Alive: S. Korean Intelligence

Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 06:57 AM

The once powerful aunt of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is still alive despite her extended absence from public view since her husband was executed, South Korea's spy agency said Tuesday.

The whereabouts and status of Kim Kyong-Hui, 68, have been a focus of media attention after her husband Jang Song-Thaek was executed in late 2013 on an array of charges, including treason and corruption.

Her long absence from public occasions had sparked speculation she may have fallen ill, with one leading South Korean newspaper suggesting she may already be dead.

But the South's National Intelligence Service (NIS) on Tuesday refuted reports that she had died, Yonhap news agency reported.

"They said she's alive," Shin Kyoung-Min, a ruling party legislator was quoted as saying in a parliamentary intelligence committee meeting, without elaborating.

Kim Kyong-Hui had wielded influence in her supporting role under the leadership of her brother and late leader Kim Jong-Il.

She and her husband were also seen as instrumental in smoothing her nephew Kim Jong-Un's transition to power, before Jang fell from grace.

The Kim family has ruled reclusive, impoverished North Korea for more than six decades with an iron fist and a pervasive personality cult.




© AFP 2017

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Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 06:57 AM
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