Tags: kim jong un | wife | north korea | first lady

Kim Jong Un's Wife Now North Korea 'First Lady'

Image: Kim Jong Un's Wife Now North Korea 'First Lady'

This picture taken by North Korean news agency KCNA (Korean Central News Agency) on March 2, 2017, and released on March 3 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) and his wife Ri Sol-Ju (2nd R) visiting the Mangyongdae Revolutionary School in Pyongyang to plant trees with its students on a tree planting day. (AFP Photo/KCNA via KNS/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 16 April 2018 11:56 AM

Kim Jong Un's wife was officially recognized as North Korea's "first lady" by the state-controlled media, which bestowed the title to Ri Sol Ju for the first time over the weekend following her first public appearance without her spouse, Newsweek reported.

Until now, Ri has only ever been referred to as "comrade" but received the upgraded status after she was seen attending a performance at the National Ballet of China at the Mansudae Art Theater in Pyongyang.

The "first lady" title has only been used on one other occasion, in 1974 in relation to Kim Il Sung's wife Kim Song Ae, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo noted.

This may be the media's attempt to package North Korea as a "normal state" that has a traditional "first couple," South China Morning Post said.

According to the report, Ri was officially identified as Kim Jong Un's wife in state media in 2012 and, while she has made several public appearances since, very little is known about her.

However, Kim has been striving to improve his own image as well as that of North Korea and this move has coincided with an increase in the number of public appearances made by himself and Ri.

According to Newsweek, the couple received VIP treatment during their trip to China last month.

Ri has also been spotted sitting at the table during a visit with South Korean presidential aide Chung Eui-yong and now South Korean media believe she will accompany her husband at the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone at the summit later this month.

"Ri is expected to have tea time with (South Korean) first lady Kim Jung-sook and attend a luncheon or state dinner hosted by President Moon Jae-in, alongside Kim Jong-un (on the visit)" said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, according to The Korea Herald.

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Ri Sol Ju, the wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was officially recognized as North Korea's "first lady" by the state-controlled media for the first time over the weekend following her first public appearance without her spouse.
kim jong un, wife, north korea, first lady
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2018-56-16
Monday, 16 April 2018 11:56 AM
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