Asia

North Korean leader's wife reappears in public

  • 30 October 2012
  • From the section Asia
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C), with his wife Ri Sol-ju wearing a beige coat, watching a concert in Pyongyang, 29 October 2012
Ms Ri (L) attended a concert with her husband Kim Jong-un (C) on Monday

The wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made public appearances, state-run media report, after being absent from the public eye for 50 days.

Ri Sol-ju attended a football match and a concert with her husband on Monday, KCNA news agency said.

Her absence had prompted speculation, including that she had fallen out of favour for some reason.

North Korea only confirmed Ms Ri was Mr Kim's wife in July, a month after she was first seen in public with him.

Ms Ri watched a football match in the capital, Pyongyang, with Kim Jong-un, state-run KCNA said.

She was also seen attending a concert marking the 60th anniversary of the Kim Il-sung Military University with her husband.

"Marshall Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of the party and the people, came to the spectators' seats, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol-ju. At that moment, thunderous applause broke out," KCNA said.

A photo released by KCNA showed Ms Ri wearing a long beige coat while watching the performance.

South Korean media speculated that Ms Ri may have been chastised for failing to wear the required lapel pin that has the image of the country's dead leaders, that there was disapproval of her active public role in the military or that she was pregnant.

Details surrounding the marriage of Mr Kim to Ms Ri remain unclear. Most reports had suggested that Ms Ri may have been a singer who caught Mr Kim's attention during a performance.

The couple's previous public appearances have included visits to an amusement park and watching a concert featuring Disney characters.

Kim Jong-un took over as leader of North Korea after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in December last year.

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