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Who really has the power in Pyongyang Kim Jong-un's AUNT 'was driving force behind his rise to leader'
Kim Kyong-hui is often only female face on official photographsShe is the daughter of the North Korean Eternal President Kim Il-sungMiss Kim and husband chosen by Kim Jong-il to consolidate son's authority
15:23 GMT, 7 April 2013
09:58 GMT, 8 April 2013
The aunt of Kim Jong-un has been credited with being the driving force behind the rise of the Supreme Leader of North Korea.
Kim Kyong-hui, who is often the only female face on official photographs of ranks of generals and party leaders, has been tasked with transforming her nephew into a figurehead with a reputation for strong military tactics who is able to handle an international crisis.
Miss Kim, who has been a key figure in the family for four decades, and her husband Jang Sung-taek, were chosen by Kim Jong-il to pull the strings behind the consolidation of his son's authority before the old leader died in 2011, The Telegraph has reported.
Kim Kyong-hui (pictured on an escalator in a Pyongyang supermarket with a group including Kim Jong-un and her husband Jang Song-taek) has been described as the driving force behind the Supreme Leader's rise to power
Kim Kyong-hui (centre) has been a key figure in the family, which rules the country, for four decades
The pair, who are both 66, were seen on either side of Kim Jong-un at a central committee session of the Workers' Party last weekend, where their nephew pledged to maintain nuclear weapons as 'the nation's life treasure'. The following week saw escalating tensions as Mr Kim threatened the US and South Korea.
Miss Kim, daughter of the Eternal President of Kim Il-sung, who oversaw the inception of North Korea in 1948, is the director of the party's Organisation and Guidance Department. She is also the sister of the country's second leader and now aunt of its third.
Her husband, meanwhile, is vice-chairman of the National Defence Commission. He is also the regime's key link with China.
According to The Telegraph however, their main role is to help defend the dynasty by pushing the young leader's image as a powerful military figure. There are apparently concerns he is not trusted by some of his generals.
The pair were seen on either side of Kim Jong-un at a central committee session of the Workers' Party last weekend
While she disappeared from public view for six years after 2003, she re-emerged to a more powerful role, being made a four-star general in 2010.
She also owns the only burger restaurant in Pyongyang, where the menu offers 'minced meat and bread' rather than using the American word 'burger'.
Meanwhile, the third member of the group guiding Mr Kim is Choe Ryong-hae, according to the paper, a party bureaucrat who was appointed head of the military.
To increase fear in the Korean Peninsula, Pyongyang released footage of Kim Jong-un joining in with some target practice during a military drill
Kim Jong-un watching a rocket-launched small aircraft blowing up in the sky after being intercepted by anti-aircraft missiles