Kim Kyong-Hui, 64, was recently added to the annually updated diagram of North Korea's power structure released by South Korea. It showed her in a top position supervising light industries under the ruling party, the Workers' Party of Korea.
"Since her comeback, the sister has frequently accompanied Kim Jong-Il in his field inspections," ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-Joo told reporters.
According to intelligence officials, Kim Jong-Il, 68, has increasingly relied on his family to exercise his power following a stroke in 2008, the South Korean Yonhap news agency reported.
The report also notes that the sister's comeback might also refer to North Korea's resolution to heal its economy and prepare for a family power succession.
Some speculate that Kim Kyong-Hui's husband, Jang Song-Thaek will eventually play the role of a regent as the North Korean leader prepares his youngest son Jong-Un to take over the top post.
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