Kim Jong Un’s wife appears in public after 5 months

kim wife

PYONGYANG: FEB. 2 – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s wife and his influential aunt was reportedly seen in the public on Wednesday as they attended an art performance at the Mansudae Art Theatre in the capital, Pyongyang, celebrating the Lunar New Year holiday. This was Kim Jong Un’s wife, Ri Sol Ju’s, first appearance in nearly five months.

According to news agency Reuters, Ri was last seen publicly on Sept 9, when she joined her husband in visiting the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, which houses the embalmed bodies of Kim’s late grandfather and father, on the anniversary of the country’s founding.

“When (Kim) appeared at the auditorium of the theatre with his wife, Ri Sol Ju, amid the playing of the welcome music, the audience raised stormy cheers of ‘Hurrah!’” Reuters further quoted the official KCNA news agency as saying.

In her latest appearance, Ri was seen dressed in a traditional red-and-black hanbok dress as she chatted and smiled with Kim during the show. The couple was also spotted shaking hands and taking photos with the artists.

The TV clip also showed Kim’s aunt and a former senior official of the ruling Workers’ Party, Kim Kyong Hui, who made her first appearance since January 2020, seen sitting next to Ri.

Kim Kyong Hui was a key figure in the young leader’s first years in power but had disappeared from media after he ordered the execution of her powerful husband, Jang Song Thaek, over treason charges in 2013, before making a surprise comeback six years later.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) said in 2017 that she was dealing with an unspecified illness outside Pyongyang.

Ri had once garnered international attention as she often accompanied Kim on social, business, and even military outings, in a stark break from his father, Kim Jong Il, who was rarely seen in public with any of his wives.

She was absent from state media for more than a year before being seen attending a concert last February, fuelling speculation over her health and potential pregnancy.

The NIS told lawmakers that she apparently refrained from outside activities to prevent Covid-19 infections but was “playing well with their kids.”The spy agency believes Kim and Ri have three children, but little is publicly known about them.

North Korea has not confirmed any Covid-19 outbreaks, but closed its borders and taken strict curbs including travel restrictions.