North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's aunt and widow of executed eminence grise Jang Song-taek was probably not returned to North's rubber-stamp parliament, an intelligence official here said Thursday.
"It appears that Kim Kyong-hui either quarreled with Kim Jong-un or voluntarily stepped down," the official said.
The name Kim Kyong-hui was on a list of the 687 Supreme People's Assembly members who were picked at the weekend, but intelligence officials here believe that is another individual of the same name. The representative was elected in the Taepyong district of North Pyongan Province, and there is no reason why Kim's aunt would run in that remote part of the country.
During the last Supreme People's Assembly elections in 2009, there were two candidates called Kim Kyong-hui, and Kim's aunt was the one who ran in Pyongyang.
She has not been seen in public since a concert in September last year, months before her husband was executed. The government here believes she went to Russia last autumn for receive heart surgery and has been bedridden since her return.
Intelligence officials here believe the perennial ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam was not re-elected either, since the candidate of that name ran in the Unha district, a science research center near Pyongyang, and the president of the Presidium has no connection with science. A government official said, "We can't rule out that that was someone else with the same name."
But a Unification Ministry official said it is unlikely that Kim Yong-nam lost his position since he just met Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Sochi Winter Olympics and was spotted casting his vote last week."