Despite treatment in China for her dependence on alcohol, 66-year old Chosun Workers’ Party Secretary Kim Kyung Hee has been unable to stop drinking and is in increasingly ill-health as a consequence, Daily NK has been informed.
A Japanese source explained on the 24th, “Due to the long term damage caused by her drinking, Kim Kyung Hee went to China in secret for treatment. However, she still has not been able to quit drinking, to the point where her poor health may make it hard for her to work by this time next year.”
“Currently she is not at that point, but I hear that if she keeps drinking she will find it harder to work, and that includes playing the role of Kim Jong Eun’s guardian,” the source added.
“Kim Kyung Hee does not currently ‘go to work’ at the Central Party, but she does do her work at home. In particular, she is capable of performing tasks pertaining to personnel matters for key posts,” the source reaffirmed, before noting the potential for a struggle for influence in the event that she ceases to be able to execute her obligations.
A source within Chongryon, the pro-North Korean association in Japan, confirmed the story about Kim, pointing out also that “Kim’s poor health is a blow to the authority of Jang Sung Taek, and will have a detrimental effect on the guardianship system surrounding Kim Jong Eun over the longer term.”