Who is Kim Jong-un’s wife Ri Sol-ju? Inside the life of North Korea’s first lady – The Sun

LIKE much of North Korea, the personal life of its dictator Kim Jong-un is shrouded in secrecy.

Little is known about his wife, Ri Sol-ju, but she is considered a favourite in the country, even being allowed to be named First Lady.

Who is Ri Sol-ju?

Ri Sol-ju was identified as Kim's wife in 2012.

She is believed to have been born between 1985 and 1989, making her between 35-40.

Very little is known about the tyrant's wife, or her upbringing, but she likely comes from a family in North Korea's highly selective elite.

Her father is reported to be a professor and her mother a doctor.

She is believed to have studied singing in China and is a former member of the North Korean cheerleading team who travelled to South Korea in 2005 during the Asian Athletics Championships.

She is thought to be a mother to three children, according to South Korean intelligence reports.

But North Korea's secretive government has not confirmed that information.

Ri doesn't appear in the public very often but has taken a more prominent role than previous North Korean first ladies.

She's usually seen when Kim Jong-un celebrates missile test launches, and is always photographed smiling, wearing clean-cut, pastel dresses.

In 2018, she accompanied her husband Kim to a post-summit banquet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife, Kim Jung-sook.

She is believed to have sparked a friendship with Kim Jung-sook during the inter-Korean summit between Kim and South Korean president Moon Jae-in.

Ri and Kim Jung-sook met up again in September 2018 at another summit. They reportedly bonded over their love for music.

Ri Sol-ju made regular appearances at her husband's side as relations warmed between North and South Korea.

This has led her to take the title of "respected First Lady" by North Korean state media, a step up from the previously used "comrade".

She became a fashion hit in China after the couple paid a visit to Beijing in 2018.

State media reported she wore three different outfits during her two-day visit.
One of them was a cropped jacket and a matching dress, with a pink and gold butterfly-shaped brooch.

On another outing she donned a white coat overtop a pastel green dress, and then changed into a cream coloured peplum dress.
She is known for her taste in western fashion.

She has been spotted carrying expensive bags by designers such as Chanel and Dior.
But her luxury goods has attracted international criticism as North Korean civilians have struggled for years under famine, drought, and widespread poverty.

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Credit: EPA

Kim's wife seems to be taking on a more prominent role on the world stageIt is not known when Ri Sol-ju and Kim Jong-un were married.

It has been reported the wedding was in 2009 and Ri gave birth to a child the next year, while other outlets have said the couple didn't meet until a classical music concert in 2010.

Ri's public introduction was in 2012. North Korean media mentioned her during coverage of an amusement park opening in Pyongyang.
State television reported: "While a welcoming song was resonating.

"Marshal Kim Jong Un appeared at the ceremony site, with his wife, Comrade Ri Sol Ju."

The secrecy around their wedding was no surprise to North Koreans and international onlookers.

Kim's father never introduced his multiple wives to the public at all.

 

Do they have children?

Ri Sol-ju reportedly had a son in 2010 after a long period of absence from the public eye led to speculation she was pregnant.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman visited North Korea in March 2013, speaking to The Sun on his return, revealing Ri gave birth to a baby daughter, before the basketball ace later told The Guardian her name is Kim Ju-ae.

He said: "She kept talking about their beautiful baby daughter".

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