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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.

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