North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has allowed his aunt to remain in power after swiftly removing and executing her husband from government.
Kim Kyong Hui, a younger sister of Kim Jong Un’s father and the nation’s late leader Kim Jong Il, appeared in a state-media communiqué on a funeral committee for a Workers’ Party official, the Associated Press reports.
Kim Kyong Hui’s husband Jang Song Taek was executed on Friday for allegedly attempting to seize power and overthrow the government. But analysts say Kim Kyong Hui could have been spared due to her close relationship with her late brother, and she may have possibly supported her nephew’s decision to oust — but not execute — her husband.
Kim Jong Un’s aunt has held a number of public positions ranging from Workers’ Party secretary to four-star army general. Kim Kyong Hui and Jang had a tangled marriage over the past few years, following their only daughter’s suicide in 2006 while studying in Paris, according to South Korean media reports.
More recently, Kim Kyong Hui has reportedly been ill, cutting back on public appearances over possible liver and heart conditions.