North Korean state-run media said for the first time that dictator Kim Jong Un is married, apparently to a woman named Ri Sol Ju, referring to her as “his wife.”
Kim and Ri attended the opening of an amusement park, the report said. However, she was not the subject of the report, the amusement park was.
Over the past several weeks, there has been speculation about an unidentified woman who has been with Kim at public appearances throughout the impoverished, communist country.
The woman was shown with Kim at a concert that featured Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, and they were together at a kindergarten, and also at a mausoleum, to mark the death of Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea and Kim Jong Un’s grandfather.Ri Sol Ju is also the name of a North Korean singer, but it is unclear if they are one and the same person.
The Daily NK website said, “The move represents the next step in [the] work to make Kim Jong Un appear old and wise enough to rule North Korea.”
“While part of the Party propaganda strategy has focused on Kim’s modernity derived from his youth, there is another aspect that requires him to appear mature enough to govern, and marriage serves this element well,” the website added.
The young leader, who is believed to be in his late 20s, took control of the country after his father, Kim Jong Il, died in December.
Kim Jong Il was said to have had three wives, but none had been identified as the first lady. Then the regime started airing propaganda films about Kim Jong Un’s mother, Ko Young Hee, after the young leader took power, reported The New York Times. The films said she was the “mother” of all North Koreans and showed her with Kim Jong Il visiting farms and military installations.