Kim Jong-un's Aunt Seen as Power Behind the Throne

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's aunt Kim Kyong-hui is the one wielding the real power in the Stalinist country now that her nephew has been named first secretary of the Workers party, experts believe.

Kim Kyong-hui Kim Kyong-hui

Kim Kyong-hui is the daughter of nation founder Kim Il-sung, which gives legitimacy to her status, and her experience in government is apparently making up for Kim Jong-un's lack of it.

"Kim Jong-un still doesn't seem to be making decisions by himself on important matters and consults with his aunt Kim Kyong-hui or his uncle Jang Song-taek," said a high-ranking government official here.

Kim Jong-un was tapped to succeed his father in January of 2009 and made his first official appearance in September of 2010. Kim Jong-il died less than three years after Kim Jong-un began training for the top job and ended up succeeding him without gaining full control of the military and government. North Korea watchers say this leaves Kim junior no choice but to lean on his aunt and uncle for advice.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 12, 2012 10:17 KST