Kim Family Reunion
Last week Kim Jong Un’s Aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, was pictured sitting with the Supreme Leader at a Lunar New Year concert in the capital, Pyongyang. A real surprise, given that six years ago he ordered the execution of her husband and forced her into hiding.
Only in North Korea can someone be un-personned and then re-personned again with such effortless polish. It’s the kind of authoritarian family management that must make Queen Elizabeth jealous.
In her first public appearance since 2013, Kim Kyong Hui sat next to the dictator’s wife. Only sister to Kim’s father Kim Jong-il, she had been suspected by some North Korea experts to have died of a stroke, heart attack, or to have committed suicide. Other possible scenarios were of course ‘committing suicide’, taking a ‘long vacation’ or gone to get some cigarettes.
The North Korean Supreme Leader is said to enjoy Hollywood films and must be a fan of the Godfather movies given his habit for killing off members of his own family. In 2017 his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was assassinated on his orders, despite his living a quiet life, enjoying the music of Eric Clapton and trips to Disneyland.
To be fair, it’s been a while since Disney released anything good.
But there’s more. Hui’s late-husband and the dictator’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, was seen by many as a force for economic and social reform within the hermit nation, closing a number of beneficial deals with Chinese contacts – naturally any attempt to modernise the backwards country is a crime punishable by death.
He and his wife were initially given responsibility for mentoring the young Kim Jong Un when he assumed power in 2011, being regarded as a influential behind the scenes. Yet, by 2013 the North Korean Central News Agency reported ‘Traitor Jang Song Thaek Executed’. From the sublime to the ridiculous…
Among other things, the senior family member was accused of ‘attempting to overthrow the state ‘by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods’, being labelled ‘worse than a dog’ and ‘human scum’ – more of a diss-track than a court’s verdict.
So, it’s truly heart-warming to see that the Kims are getting along with each other again… until the next execution.