Power couple: Kim Jong Un's aunt, uncle

April 1, 2013 at 4:32 PM

SEOUL, April 1 (UPI) -- While North Korea's young leader Kim Jong Un portrays himself as a tough-talking leader, his aunt and uncle are the country's real power, analysts say.

Among Kim's small inner circle of advisers are his aunt Kim Kyong-Hui and her husband Jang Sung-Taek, each 66, a power couple chosen by Kim's late father Kim Jong Il to help his 30-year-old son consolidate power and control North Korea's 1.2 million-member military, ABC News reported Monday.

The couple were recently spotted at a committee meeting of the ruling Workers' Party, listening to a speech in which Kim referred to North Korea's nuclear weapons as "the nation's life treasure," ABC said.

"They are in a hurry to establish Kim's image as a powerful military leader to gain respect and control, and the ones doing that are Kim Kyong-Hui and her husband Jang," said Jeung Young Tai, senior research fellow at Seoul's Korea Institute for National Unification.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
TSU shooting: 1 dead, 1 wounded in third shooting this week at Houston campus
Listeria threat prompts Whole Foods cheese recall
Russia says missiles aimed at Syria did not land in Iran
Captive orca breeding banned at California's SeaWorld
Wrong drug used in Oklahoma execution