Kim Jong Un's Aunt Safe for Now

Reports indicate she's been appointed to committee

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 15, 2013 6:44 AM CST

(Newser) Rumors of her impending demise may have been at least premature, because the AP reports that Kim Jong Un's aunt—and estranged wife of recently executed uncle Jang Song Thaek—has been named to an ad-hoc state committee in a seeming indication that both her influence and her neck remain intact. Analysts speculate that the difference could well be that Kim Kyong Hui is a blood relative; she was very close to older brother Kim Jong Il, and helped groom Kim Jong Un for power after his father's death. And, they say, she may even have given the high sign to have her husband fired, though probably didn't sanction his death. Watchers are looking for her to appear in public on Tuesday, on the second anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death, assuming her frail health permits it.

In this 1963 photo, Kim Jong Il, left, poses with his father Kim Il Sung and his younger sister, Kim Kyong Hui.
In this 1963 photo, Kim Jong Il, left, poses with his father Kim Il Sung and his younger sister, Kim Kyong Hui.   (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)
In this March 28, 2006 file photo, Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Il's  brother-in-law, who was recently executed.
In this March 28, 2006 file photo, Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Il's brother-in-law, who was recently executed.   (AP photo/Kyodo News, File)
In this Feb. 16, 2013 image, Kim Jong Un, with his aunt Kim Kyong Hui, attends a statue unveiling ceremony in Pyongyang on the anniversary of Kim Jong Il's birthday.
In this Feb. 16, 2013 image, Kim Jong Un, with his aunt Kim Kyong Hui, attends a statue unveiling ceremony in Pyongyang on the anniversary of Kim Jong Il's birthday.   (AP Photo/KRT via AP Video, File)
In this Sept. 28, 2010 file photo, Kim Kyong Hui, front center, claps during the ruling Workers' Party representatives meeting in Pyongyang.
In this Sept. 28, 2010 file photo, Kim Kyong Hui, front center, claps during the ruling Workers' Party representatives meeting in Pyongyang.   (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service, File)
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