North Korea leader's aunt unscathed after husband's execution

In this undated file photo released by the Korean Central News Agency and distributed by the Korea News Service on Dec 17, 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's son, Kim Jong Un, second row right, rides on an escalator with his aunt Kim Kyong Hui (
In this undated file photo released by the Korean Central News Agency and distributed by the Korea News Service on Dec 17, 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's son, Kim Jong Un, second row right, rides on an escalator with his aunt Kim Kyong Hui (bottom) and others when they visit a Pyongyang supermarket with his father. The powerful aunt of North Korean leader Kim appears unscathed after the shock purge of her husband who was executed for treason, according to a report from state media. -- FILE PHOTO: AP

SEOUL (AFP) - The powerful aunt of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears unscathed after the shock purge of her husband who was executed for treason, according to a report from state media.

Ms Kim Kyoung Hui, sister of late leader Kim Jong Il, was named as a member of the state funeral committee for a senior party official who died on Friday, according to a report by KCNA late on Saturday.

Her name was listed along with a horde of top party and military cadres including defence chief Jang Jong Nam and Choe Ryong Hae, the director of the North Korean military's political bureau and Jong-Un's close confidant.

News of Ms Kim Kyong Hui attending an official function indicates that she remains in favour with her nephew, who has been consolidating his grip on power since his father's death two years ago.

The report came days after Jang Song Thaek, Ms Kim Kyoung Hui's powerful husband and political regent of Mr Kim Jong Un, was executed for corruption and plotting to overthrow the state, among other charges.

His execution on Friday - carried out only four days after he was ousted from all his party and military positions - was the biggest political upheaval since the young Kim Jong Un took power after the death of his father in December 2011.

Jang played key role in cementing the leadership of the young and inexperienced Kim Jong Un.

But the 67-year-old's growing political influence and power was increasingly resented by Kim Jong-Un, analysts said.

Jang and Ms Kim Kyoung Hui were once regarded as the ultimate power couple in Pyongyang, as both held key positions at the ruling party.

But Ms Kim Kyoung Hui, 67, has been less visible in the past year, with reports that she was seriously ill and had sought hospital treatment in Singapore.