The aunt of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has been seen in public for the first time since the execution of her husband years ago.

Kim Kyong-hui is the daughter of North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung, and sister to former leader Kim Jong-il.

She had not been seen since her husband, Chang Song-thaek, was executed by her nephew for “acts of treachery” in 2013.

On Sunday, state media released a photo of her enjoying new year celebrations.

The photo, released by North Korea’s state news agency KCNA, showed Kim Kyong-hui seated next to Kim Jong-un and his wife in a crowded theatre in Pyongyang. She was also included in the list of top-ranking officials in attendance.

It puts an end to speculation about her fate in the years since Kim Jong-un ordered her husband’s execution, who was largely considered to be the second-most powerful man in North Korea at the time.

Oliver Hotham, editor at NK News, which covers events in the reclusive nation, said her appearance was a surprise.

“Many North Korea watchers had assumed that Kim Kyong-hui had gone into exile or even killed in the wake of her husband’s death,” he told Reuters.

Her appearance seated next to the leader suggested she had retained – or regained – significant influence, he added – possibly as an advisor.

“It’s also a reminder of how weird and brutal North Korea is, after all she’s sitting next to the man who ordered her husband’s execution.”

Kim Kyong-hui and her husband Chang Song-thaek were major players within the North Korean state at the time of their nephew’s ascension to power nearly a decade ago.

Mr Kim succeeded his father as leader in 2011, and it was widely believed that Mr Chang was one of his mentors during the transition.

But two years into the new leader’s reign, Mr Chang was removed from a meeting by armed guards in dramatic fashion. Official statements claimed he had confessed to plotting to overthrow the state, and that he had been immediately executed.

Many observers of the North Korean state believe he may have been considered a threat to the young leader, and killed as part of a purge.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Fury over Swiss schools shaming girls who wear ‘indecent’ clothes, with some pupils forced to wear ‘T-shirt of Shame’

A Swiss middle school has sparked fury for shaming girls who wear ‘indecent’ clothes, forcing some to wear a ‘T-shirt of shame’.  On Wednesday, several hundred demonstrators called on Swiss middle schools to stop shaming girls who violate dress codes…

Europol warns against coronavirus scams

Across Europe, many companies and individuals are forced to look on hopelessly as contracts are canceled and orders put on hold due to the effects of the new COVID-19 coronavirus. However, not every business sector is feeling the crunch —…

Cruz calls Obama, Biden actions in Russia probe ‘much, much worse’ than ‘everything Richard Nixon did’

What Barack Obama and Joe Biden did was much worse than Richard Nixon’s abuse of power, says Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senate Judiciary Committee member Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told “Hannity” Wednesday that the actions of…

TikTok asks court to intervene after Trump administration leaves app in limbo

The popular video-sharing app TikTok says its future has been in limbo since Donald Trump tried to shut it down earlier this fall and is asking a federal court to intervene. Trump in August signed an executive order to ban…