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Kim’s aunt, wife of purged official, absent from North Korea ceremony

JIJI

The aunt of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was not seen at the leadership podium in a ceremony Tuesday to mark the second anniversary of the Kim Jong Il’s death.

There was no sign of Kim Kyong Hui, the widow of recently executed key official Jang Song Thaek, at the podium in Pyongyang, according to footage televised live by the state-run Korean Central Television.

The aunt, who holds the post of secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, is expected to lose some of her influence.

But she was on the list of the funeral committee for the late Kim Kuk Thae, who was chairman of the party’s Central Control Committee. Released Saturday, the list seemed to show that she remains a high-ranking official even after her husband’s execution, even though she has not appeared in public since September.

It is unclear why she was absent from Tuesday’s event, which may have been due to poor health.