North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s wife, Ri Sol Ju, has reappeared in the North Korean state media after a two-month hiatus, either for being publicly scolded for ill-fitted conduct or for possibly being pregnant.
The North Korean leader’s wife is though to be pregnant because of her appearance during a concert at the Kim Il-sung Military University, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported:
“A photo in the Tuesday edition of the Rodong Sinmun daily shows her face looking puffy and her stomach visibly bulging. ‘She is wearing a long coat but cannot hide her protruding abdomen,’ the government source said.”
According to Korean sources, Ri Sol Ju appears to be about three months pregnant.
Ri Sol Ju’s appearances with her husband mark a stark change in North Korean leadership images. Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, was almost never seen in public with any of his wives, Reutersreports.
Often in North Korea, public appearances are choreographed and the media rarely gives any actual news stories. The stories usually are surface-level at best and controlled by the government. The country keeps to itself and is in a stand-still with its neighbors and the West because of its nuclear weapons.
It had been about two weeks since Kim Jong-un had made a public appearance. He was reported as looking healthy and confident with Ri Sol Ju beside him.
Chosun Ilbo has speculated that state elders in North Korea had disapproved of Ri Sol-ju’s cheerful demeanor in the media and this was why she had not appeared in public for nearly two months:
“The analysis has been that there was concern over breach of discipline [by Ri] among North Korean elders, plus the speculation of pregnancy.”
The announcement of the couple’s marriage indicated that Kim is trying to break from the secretive management style his father had implemented.
North Korea’s state media has not said whether the couple is pregnant, when they were married, or whether they have any children now.