Contrary to a CNN report claiming North
Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un had his aunt Kim Kyong Hui poisoned, a Daily NK
source in Pyongyang reported that she is alive and receiving treatment for a
nerve disorder in the North’s capital, asserting that her overall health is on
the path to recovery.
“Kim Kyong Hui is going back and forth
between Sobaeksu Villa in Samjiyon, Yangkang Province and Pyongyang’s Ponghwa
Treatment Center to receive treatment and recuperate; she is not dead,” the
source told Daily NK on Tuesday, adding that a high-level official in the
Central Party confirmed that she is still very much alive.
“(Following the execution of Jang Song
Thaek) her preexisting nerve disorder grew much worse, so she has received a
great deal of subsequent treatment. During this process, Kim Jong Un even personally asked
the doctors to treat her well,” the source said. “Kim has made personal visits
to the treatment center to check in with the medical staff to track her recovery.”
Claims from a defector CNN interviewed
claiming the aunt was poisoned by the leader are “outrageous” the source said,
given his excessive displays of affection for his aunt; so much so, in fact, the young leader’s love for this aunt has garnered attention from those around
“Seeing this strong bond, high-level Party
cadres make frequent comments among themselves about how Kim Jong Un and Kim
Kyong Hui still communicate well,” she said. “Some have speculated the aunt may
still be wielding influence from behind the scenes, but this role would be
significantly diminished due to her prolonged treatment and the general
instability of her health.”
Following the execution of her husband Jang
Song Thaek, ordered by his nephew Kim Jong Un in December 2013, Kim Kyong Hui is said to have
become further dependent on alcohol and prone to nervous
breakdowns. “Not only that, I’ve heard a lot of morphine has been used as part of her treatment, so a lot of times her state of mind is really abnormal,” she said.
This effect, according to the source, is at times so pronounced that Kim Kyong
Hui appears “totally removed” from reality.
As to reason why the aunt has yet to step
into the public eye, despite marked improvements in her health, the source cited
Jang’s death as the primary factor involved.
“Here in the North, people don’t think of
you individually; you’re lumped in with your family. It’s pretty much general
opinion among Party cadres that she shouldn’t (be active) since her husband was
deemed a traitor by the state,” she explained. “They would be worried that by being active she would create confusion among the public.”
“Kim Kyong Hui herself has also probably
determined that she would taint Kim Jong Un’s reputation and damage his leadership.
That’s why she’s not showing herself,” she went on to assert.
A different source in North Pyongan Province also
weighed in on the situation, verifying that Kim Kyong Hui is indeed alive; he also surmised that she may still find it
hard to personally meet with the man that ordered the execution of her husband,
their love and care for one another notwithstanding.