Kim Kyong Hui, the aunt of North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, has made her first appearance in more than six years, after North Korean state media Sunday released a photo of her celebrating the new year.

She made her last appearance in 2013, with her husband Jang Song Thaek being executed that year by Kim Jong Un for “acts of treachery.” 

"Many North Korea watchers had assumed that Kim Kyong Hui had gone into exile or even killed in the wake of her husband’s death, so to see her pop up by the leader’s side some six years later is certainly a surprise,” Oliver Hotham, the manager of the NK News organization said about her reappearance. 

It remains unclear why Kim Kyong Hui is back in the spotlight and North Korea's interest in promoting her.

Kim Jong Un has had tense relationships with other members of his family. His brother, Kim Jong Nam, was assassinated with a nerve agent in February 2017 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, with South Korean intelligence believing that Kim Jong Un directed the operation. The death came after Kim Jong Nam had become a critic of the North Korean regime. 

Kim Jong Un is the third son of Kim Jong Il, the former leader of North Korea who died in 2011. Kim Jong Nam was passed over to be the leader of North Korea because he was “tainted by foreign influence.” Kim Jong Il’s second son, Kim Jong Chol, “was deemed too effeminate” to rule North Korea, leaving Kim Jong Un to take over leadership of the country.