The secret life of Kim Jong Un’s aunt, who has lived in the U.S. since 1998
NEW YORK — Wandering through Times
Square, past the Naked Cowboy and the Elmos and the ticket touts, she
could be any immigrant trying to live the American Dream.
60-year-old Korean woman with a soft perm and conservative clothes,
she’s taking a weekend off from pressing shirts and hemming pants at the
dry-cleaning business she runs with her husband.
But she’s not just any immigrant. She’s an aunt to Kim Jong Un, the young North Korean leader who has threatened to wipe out New York with a hydrogen bomb.
for the past 18 years, since defecting from North Korea into the
waiting arms of the CIA, she has been living an anonymous life here in
the United States with her husband and three children.
friends here tell me I’m so lucky, that I have everything,” Ko Yong
Suk, as she was known when she was part of North Korea’s royal family,
told The Washington Post on a recent weekend. “My kids went to great
schools and they’re successful, and I have my husband, who can fix
anything. There’s nothing we can envy.”
Her husband, previously known as Ri Gang, chimes in with laughter: “I think we have achieved the American Dream.”
This is the story of how one family went from the top of North Korea to middle America.