North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un Had Aunt Killed, Says Defector

The defector is reportedly one of the most senior figures to have deserted the secretive regime of North Korea, and claims that the aunt was poisoned one year after her husband was killed during an official purge.

North Korea's Kim Jong-Un Had Aunt Killed, Says Defector

Aunt disappears from the public eye

Kim Kyong-Hui made her last public appearance in North Korea in September 2013, shortly before her husband Jang Song Thaek was killed during a purge ordered by Kim. Speculation over her disappearance was rife, with some sources claiming that she had become ill, or died, following the death of her husband. Despite those reports, South Korean intelligence agencies said that she was alive in February this year.

Speaking to CNN, the North Korean defector said: “On May 5th or 6th of last year. Kim Jong-Un ordered his aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, to be killed. Only his bodyguard unit, Unit 974, knew this – now senior officials also know she was poisoned.”

Such reports were denied by a Pyongyang-based source speaking to the Daily NK website, who claimed that Kim Kyong is still alive, although she is being treated for a “nerve disorder.”

“[Following the execution of Jang Song Thaek] her pre-existing nerve disorder grew much worse, so she has received a great deal of subsequent treatment. During this process, Kim Jong-Un even personally asked the doctors to treat her well,” according to the source.

Speculation arises over purge of officials

The disappearance of Jang-Song fueled concerns that other top officials who recently have not been seen in state media could also have been victims of a purge ordered by Kim Jong-Un. It is thought that Jang disagreed with North Korea’s leader over financial matters linked to the construction of the Masikryong Ski Resort and Munsu Water Park.