North Korean Defector Answers Mystery of Leader's Missing Aunt
20:00 28.11.2014(updated 20:37 28.11.2014)
A defector to South Korea alleges that Kim Kyong-hui committed suicide late last year.
MOSCOW, November 28 (Sputnik) – A North Korean defector has said that the Kim Jong-un's aunt, whose disappearance has been the subject of media speculation, committed suicide last year.
Kim Heung-kwang, who defected to South Korea in 2004, has revealed to the Wall Street Journal that "his sources inside the country — whom he says he pays for information — are saying that Ms. Kim has been dead for nearly a year."
Kim Kyong-hui is the sister of deceased leader Kim Jong-iI, and according to reports has not been seen in public since September 2013. She was married to Jang Song-thaek, a powerful figure in North Korea who in December 2013 was put on trial and executed by his nephew for allegedly planning a military coup against him.
In April, South Korea's Yonhap News reported that Kyong-hui had been edited out of a rerun of a documentary film which was aired in February on the North's state television, a move it said "could reinforce speculation that she has been ousted from power." However, in a confusing move, the documentary ran again in April with the scenes reinstated.
"They would never do that to somebody who was still alive," the defector told the media in the interview, reported by the WSJ. Heung-kwang disclosed that Kyong-hui killed herself on December 17, five days after her husband's execution, because she "didn't have the will to live." She was allegedly found to have poisoned herself at home on the morning of the second anniversary of her brother's death.
On Thursday Yonhap reported that Kim Jong-un's younger sister Kim Yo-jong has been appointed a deputy director of the Workers' Party of Korea, and is being prepared to take on the supporting role to the leader which Kyong-hui once played.
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