Kim Jong-un's aunt sues defectors in South Korea

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un gives field guidance to the August 25 Fishery StationImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Kim Jong-un (right) was looked after by his aunt while he was a teenager studying in Switzerland, her lawyer said

An aunt of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has filed a defamation case against three defectors who "spread false stories" about her.

Ko Yong-suk claims the defectors - who fled to South Korea in the 1990s - lied about her having plastic surgery and managing a secret fund.

Her lawyer says she is seeking 60m won ($51,600) in a South Korean court.

The move is unusual - ruling family members living outside North Korea tend to avoid the public eye.

The defectors appeared on talk shows and claimed that Ms Yong-suk used plastic surgery to hide after having Kim Jong-un's half-brother expelled from North Korea, her lawyer said.

"These defectors who often make appearances on TV are not in a position to know about her directly and what they are saying is not true," he told Reuters.

"She and her husband find it very unpleasant."

Mrs Yong-suk took asylum in the US with her husband in 1998. She took care of Kim Jong-un when he was a teenager studying in Switzerland, according to her lawyer.

It is not clear if she will appear in court.

Her lawyer told AFP news agency: "I'm not 100% sure, but her husband indicated she could come."