Tags: Kim | power | NKorea | commuinism

Sister of NKorea's Kim Gaining Power

Wednesday, 17 Feb 2010 10:01 AM


SEOUL — Kim Jong-Il's only sister appears to be wielding more power in North Korea after making a comeback to the frontline of the regime last year, South Korea said Wednesday.

Kim Kyong-Hui, 64, was newly added to a diagram of the North's power structure released by the South's unification ministry after returning to the public spotlight for the first time in nearly six years.

The annually updated diagram, which offers a glimpse into changes in the North's elite power system, showed her heading an organ which oversees light industries under the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.

"Since her comeback, the sister has frequently accompanied Kim Jong-Il in his field inspections," ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-Joo told AFP.

Intelligence officials say Kim Jong-Il, who turned 68 Tuesday, has increasingly relied on his family to exercise his power after reportedly suffering a stroke in 2008, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The sister's comeback also reflects Pyongyang's resolve to revive its economy and pave the way for a family power succession, it added.

Her husband Jang Song-Thaek has strengthened his image as the leader's right-hand man amid speculation he will play the role of regent as the leader grooms his youngest son Jong-Un to take over.

Kim Jong-Il has three sons from two marriages, according to analysts.

Information is scant about Jong-Un, the second son of Kim Jong-Il's third wife Ko Yong-Hee. No adult photo of him is publicly available.

Some reports say Jong-Un, born in 1983, attended an international school in the Swiss city of Berne under a pseudonym.

Kenji Fujimoto, a former personal chef to Kim Jong-Il, has described the son as "a chip off the old block" who closely resembles his father physically and in terms of personality.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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2010-01-17
Wednesday, 17 Feb 2010 10:01 AM
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