The Info List - Kim Kyong-hui

General Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
(Hangul: 김경희; Hanja: 金敬姬; born 30 May 1946) is the aunt of current North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. She is the daughter of the founding North Korean leader Kim Il-sung and the sister of the late leader Kim Jong-il. She currently serves as Secretary for Organization of the Workers' Party of Korea. An important member of Kim Jong-il's inner circle of trusted friends and advisors,[1] she was director of the WPK Light Industry Department from 1988 to 2012.[2] Her husband was Jang Sung-taek, who was executed in December 2013 in Pyongyang, after being charged with treason and corruption.[3]


1 Early life and education 2 Personal life 3 Career 4 Execution of Jang Sung-taek 5 Rumours about ill health and death 6 See also 7 References 8 Bibliography

Early life and education[edit]

An idealized portrait of Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
with her mother Kim Jong-suk, father Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
and brother Kim Jong-il

Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
was born in Pyongyang
on 30 May 1946, the youngest child of Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
and Kim Jong-suk. Her birth mother died when she was four. After her father remarried, she was raised by various surrogates away from the family.[4] After a brief period spent in Jilin Province, China
due to the Korean War, she returned to Pyongyang
with her brother, Kim Jong-il. She entered Kim Il-sung University
Kim Il-sung University
in 1963, studying political economy, where she met her future husband. The couple continued dating [clarification needed] after he relocated to Wonsan, allegedly because the Kim family opposed their relationship.[5] The two eventually married in 1972. She attended the Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
Higher Party School in 1966, and went to study at Moscow State University
Moscow State University
in 1968.[citation needed] Personal life[edit] Kim and Jang had a daughter, Jang Kum-song (1977–2006), who lived overseas in Paris as an international student; she refused an order to return to Pyongyang
and then reportedly committed suicide in September 2006 due to her parents' opposition to her relationship with her boyfriend.[6] Career[edit] Kim Kyong-hui's political career began in 1971 with a position in the Korean Democratic Women's Union, and in 1975 she was transferred to the post of vice-director of the International Liaison Department of the Workers' Party of Korea, promoted to first vice-director in 1976. It was the period when North Korea
North Korea
was establishing diplomatic relations with a number of capitalist countries, like Thailand
and Singapore, as well as the United Nations. She oversaw the placement of qualified diplomatic personnel during her tenure as International Department vice-director.[5] In 1988, she was promoted to WPK Central Committee member and director of the Light Industry Department. In 1990, she was elected deputy to the Supreme People's Assembly
Supreme People's Assembly
for the first time. Her role was particularly significant as she led the Economic Policy Inspection Department, then again the Light Industry Department during the "Arduous March" period after Kim Il-sung's death.[citation needed] Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
disappeared from the limelight in 2003, in the same period when Jang Sung-taek
Jang Sung-taek
was apparently purged as well.[5] However, while her husband resurfaced with a high-level position in 2007, she did not appear in public until 2009, playing a more and more prominent role, accompanying Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
to several inspection tours and attending official events. On 27 September 2010, it was announced that she was made a general in the Korean People's Army,[7] the first woman in North Korea
North Korea
to achieve this military rank.[8] This coincided with her nephew Kim Jong-un's promotion to the same rank. A day later, the 3rd Conference of the Workers’ Party elected her as a member of the Political Bureau, which is the central organization of the party. Kim Kyong-hui later continued to pose as a prominent member of the North Korean leadership under Kim Jong-un. She was elected member of the WPK Secretariat and a leading figure of the WPK Organization and Guidance Department (the foremost party department led by her uncle Kim Yong-ju until 1974, and by Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
himself from 1974 till his death) at the 4th Party Conference in April 2012.[citation needed] According to South Korean sources, she also worked as Kim Jong-il's personal aide.[9] Her influential position in North Korean echelons (also confirmed by Kenji Fujimoto) allowed her to maintain close relations with president Kim Yong-nam
Kim Yong-nam
of the SPA Presidium, WPK Secretaries Choe Thae-bok and Kim Ki Nam, and Director Kim Yang-gon
Kim Yang-gon
of the WPK United Front Department.[5] Her post as head of the Light Industry Department gave her a prominent role in shaping North Korean economic policy as it was shifting its focus on developing light industry.[10] In 2010, Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
opened the first hamburger restaurant in Pyongyang.[11] Execution of Jang Sung-taek[edit] On 8 December 2013, her husband, Jang Sung-taek
Jang Sung-taek
was publicly expelled from the ruling Workers' Party of Korea. Jang was accused of factionalism, corruption, and a range of misbehaviour that included affairs with other women.[12][13] On 13 December, it was reported that he had been executed for treason.[14][15] On 14 December, the Korean Central News Agency
Korean Central News Agency
released a roster of six top officials appointed to a national committee in charge of organizing a state funeral for Kim Kuk-tae, a former Workers' Party official. The roster included the name of Kim Kyong-hui, indicating she had survived the purge and remained in favour.[16][17][18][19] The status of Kim Kyong-hui's relationship with Jang had been a subject of frequent speculation. Analysts believe that Jang and Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
had been estranged.[16] Yoon Sang-hyun, a National Assembly of South Korea deputy floor leader of the governing Saenuri Party, said that Kim had been "separated" from Jang and did not oppose his purge.[16] Rumours about ill health and death[edit] In recent years, Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
has been rumored to be either dead or very ill.[20] According to a report by the Daily NK
Daily NK
in August 2012, she has suffered from ill health due to alcoholism.[21] It has been suggested that she has had a fatal stroke or a heart attack.[22] According to a defector, the alleged stroke came just days after Jang's execution when Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
was on the phone with Kim Jong-un discussing the killing.[23] Some reports claim she has committed suicide. According to other reports, she underwent surgery for a brain tumour in 2013 and was left in a vegetative state.[20] In 2015, an unnamed source, described as a high-ranking defector, claimed that Kim Jong-un had ordered Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
to be poisoned.[22] In February 2015 the South Korean National Intelligence Service stated she was still alive.[24] In 2016, historical footage of her was aired on North Korean television, indicating that she had not been removed from official history.[25] In 2017, the South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported that she was alive but receiving medical treatment.[26] See also[edit]

North Korea
North Korea
portal Biography portal Politics portal

Kim Song-hye Kim Sul-song Kim Yo-jong Politics of North Korea Ro Song-sil Women in North Korea


^ Mansourov (2004), p. IV-17 ^ Baird (2003), p. 114 ^ "North Korean leader's uncle 'executed over corruption'". BBC. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013.  ^ Koike, Yuriko. (2010) "A ruthless sister risks becoming North Korea's next ruler". The Daily Star; retrieved 19 September 2010. ^ a b c d "Kim Kyong Hui". North Korea
North Korea
Leadership Watch.  ^ Yi, Yeong-jong (18 September 2006). "파리의 김정일 조카 장금송 비운의 러브스토리 (Unlucky love story of Kim Jong-il's niece in Paris)" (in Korean). JoongAng Ilbo. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2007.  ^ McDonald, Mark (27 September 2010). "Kim's Son Elevated Before Meeting". The New York Times.  ^ "North Korea's secretive 'first family'". BBC News. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2017-08-29.  ^ Chosun Ilbo, dated 11 February 2010. ^ 2010, 2011 New Year editorials by Rodong Sinmun, Joson Inmingun, and Chongnyon Jonwi. ^ "Happy Meals in Pyongyang?". Radio Free Asia. 15 October 2010.  ^ "Jang Song Thaek purge confirmed amid rumors of his execution". NK News. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.  ^ "Jang Arrested on State Television". Daily NK. South Korea. 9 December 2013. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.  ^ Alexandre Mansourov, "North Korea: What Jang's Execution Means for the Future", 38north.org; 13 December 2013. ^ Alastair Gale, "What North Korea
North Korea
Said About Jang Song Thaek", Wall Street Journal, 13 December 2013. ^ a b c Choe Sang-hun, "Kim Jong-un's Aunt Appears to Survive Husband's Purge", The New York Times, 15 December 2013. ^ Reuters, "Kim Jong-un's aunt retains position of influence after husband's downfall", 15 December 2013. ^ "North Korean execution 'will not alter trade goals'". BBC News. 15 December 2013.  ^ "North Korean leader's influential aunt remains in power after uncle Jang's execution". Reuters. 15 December 2013.  ^ a b Julian Ryall (9 January 2014). "Kim Jong-un's aunt 'in vegetative state after brain surgery'". Telegraph. Retrieved 12 May 2015.  ^ "Alcohol A Threat To Kim Guardianship Role", Daily NK, 24 August 2012. ^ a b Hancocks, Paula (11 May 2015). "Kim ordered aunt poisoned: N. Korean defector". CNN. Retrieved 12 May 2015.  ^ Karimi, By Faith; Kim, Jung-eun; Kwon, Judy (28 November 2014). "N Korea source: Leader's aunt died after husband killed". CNN. Retrieved 12 May 2015.  ^ " Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
aunt is still alive, says South Korean intelligence". Daily Telegraph. AFP. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.  ^ Kim, Myong-song (19 April 2016). "Kim Jong-un's Aunt Reappears in Propaganda".  ^ http://m.yna.co.kr/mob2/en/contents_en.jsp?cid=AEN20170831011000315&site=0300000000&mobile


Baird, Merrily (2003). Kim Chong-il's Erratic Decision-Making and North Korea's Strategic Culture. In Barry R. Schneider & Jerrold M. Post (eds.), Thy Enemy: Profiles of Adversary Leaders and Their Strategic Cultures. USAF Counterproliferation Center: Publications, Research, & Education, WMD NBC counterproliferation electives syllabi; retrieved 19 September 2010. Mansourov, Alexandre. (2004). Inside North Korea's black box: reversing the optics. The Brookings Institution; retrieved 19 September 2010. Madden, Michael (2010). Biographical Sketch of Kim Kyong-hui. North Korea Leadership Watch; retrieved 19 September 2010.

Party political offices

Preceded by Kim Jong-il Head of the Organisation and Guidance Department 2012–present Incumbent

v t e

Select[α] family tree of North Korea's ruling[β] Kim family[γ][δ][ε]

Kim Bo-hyon 1871–1955

Kim Hyong-jik 1894–1926

Kang Pan-sok 1892–1932

Kim Jong-suk 1919[ζ]–1949

Kim Il-sung 1912–1994

Kim Song-ae 1924–2014

Kim Yong-ju 1920–

Kim Young-sook 1947–

Song Hye-rim 1937–2002

Kim Jong-il 1941[ζ]–2011

Ko Yong-hui 1952–2004

Kim Ok 1964–

Kim Kyong-hui 1946–

Jang Song-thaek 1946–2013

Kim Pyong-il 1954–

Kim Sol-song 1974–

Kim Jong-nam 1971–2017

Kim Jong-chul 1981–

Kim Jong-un 1984–

Ri Sol-ju c. 1986–

Kim Yo-jong 1987–

Kim Han-sol 1995–

Kim Ju-ae c. 2012[ζ]–


^ To keep the tree of manageable size, it omits some members, e. g., brothers and sisters of Kim Jong-il. ^ Names of Supreme Leaders of the DPRK (and the name of the article being viewed, if any) are in bold font. ^ Korean names often have a variety of transliterations into English, which can be confusing. For example, "Kim Jong-chul" may also be written "Gim Jeong-cheol" or "Kim Jŏng-ch'ŏl" among many other variations. See Korean romanization
Korean romanization
for more information. ^ Huss, Kan; Frost, Clay. "North Korea's First Family: Mapping the personal and political drama of the Kim clan". msnbc.com. Retrieved 20 January 2013.  (Confirms many, but not all, of the birth and death years. See individual articles for more references.) ^ Yan, Holly (16 February 2017). "The world's most mysterious family tree: Kim Jong Un's secretive dynasty is full of drama, death". Design by Alberto Mier. CNN. Retrieved 16 February 2017.  ^ a b c Official biographies of Kim Jong-suk
Kim Jong-suk
and Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
give birth years of 1917 and 1942, respectively. Kim Ju-ae may have been born in late 2012 or early 2013.

v t e

Kim dynasty of North Korea

Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
(1912–1994) Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
(1941–2011) Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un

1st generation

Kim Hyong-jik
Kim Hyong-jik
(Kim Il-sung's father) Kang Pan-sok
Kang Pan-sok
(Kim Il-sung's mother)

2nd generation

Kim Jong-suk
Kim Jong-suk
(Kim Il-sung's first wife, Jong-il's mother) Kim Yong-ju (Kim Il-sung's brother) Kim Song-ae (Kim Il-sung's second wife)

3rd generation

Hong Il-chon (Kim Jong-il's first wife, divorced) Song Hye-rim (Kim Jong-il's first mistress) Kim Man-il (Kim Jong-il's brother) Jang Song-thaek
Jang Song-thaek
(Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law) Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
(Kim Jong-il's sister) Kim Young-sook (Kim Jong-il's wife) Ko Yong-hui
Ko Yong-hui
(Kim Jong-il's second mistress, Jong-un's mother) Kim Pyong-il
Kim Pyong-il
(Kim Jong-il's half-brother) Kim Ok
Kim Ok
(Kim Jong-il's third mistress)

4th generation

Kim Yo-jong
Kim Yo-jong
(Kim Jong-un's sister) Kim Jong-chul (Kim Jong-un's brother) Kim Sul-song (Kim Jong-un's half-sister) Kim Jong-nam
Kim Jong-nam
(Kim Jong-un's half-brother) Ri Sol-ju (Kim Jong-un's wife)

5th generation

Kim Ju-ae (Kim Jong-un's daughter) Kim Han-sol (Kim Jon