Kim Kyong-Hui, 67, is a secretary in the workers' party and a four-star general in the people's army. She was also just named to a state committee to organize a funeral for an official who died, showing that she is still held in regard by her nephew.
This is not in itself surprising, as she is the sister of Kim's father, Kim Jong-Il, and therefore has a direct claim to the bloodline. That claim — and the wild mythology that stokes it (did you know Kim Jong-Il hit 11 holes-in-one in his first round of golf then retired from the sport?) — is seen as being key to maintaining power in an impoverished nation. She is expected to attend the two-year anniversary of her brother's death on Tuesday unless reported health concerns prevent her from doing so.
It is worth noting that, according to Foreign Policy, all but three of the seven who walked with Kim Jong-Il's hearse in a photo of the funeral have been removed from power.
It has also been suggested that Kim Kyong-Hui permitted or caused her husband's death. “She may have opposed Jang’s death sentence, but she could have agreed on Jang being dismissed," said analyst Hong Hyun-ik from the private Sejong Institute in South Korea.
Earlier this week, John Everard, former British ambassador to North Korea, said he wouldn't be surprised if there were more purges to come as he expects Kim Jong-Un to root out those in the military who associated with Jang's alleged plot to take power.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.