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.
Ukrainian protestors topple Lenin statue [VIDEO]
Wisconsin business offering 'therapeutic cuddling' forced to close