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Kim Jong-un’s wife makes rare public appearance at nuclear test celebrations

NORTH KOREA

PYONGYANG: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ’s wife became a highlight at a gathering because of her rare public appearance.

Ri Sol-ju was photographed at a gala banquet for the engineers who conducted country’s most powerful nuclear test to date last Sunday.

The dictator’s wife has barely been seen in public in recent years, prompting speculation she may have given birth to the couple’s third child recently.

Ri Sol-ju

In 2016 she didn’t make a public appearance for more than seven months, initially raising fears she may have fallen from favour. She emerged again in December to accompany her husband at an air combat training competition.

Kim, 33, broke with tradition when he was first appeared in public with Ri in 2012 and since then North Korean media has referred to her has his wife. Neither Mr Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, nor father, Kim Jong-il, were ever photographed with their wives or partners in public.

Ri and Kim are reported to have met around 2010 when she was a member of the country’s Unhasu orchestra. The 27-year-old First Lady of the impoverished state is said to have a penchant for luxury goods and was spotted in 2012 with a Dior handbag worth over £1,000.

The pair have two children, whose genders are unknown. It is unusual for North Koreans to have more than two children, but Kim may have felt pressure to have a third if the first two were girls.

Ri’s latest appearance comes amid a dramatic ratcheting up of tensions in south east Asia over North Korea’s nuclear arms tests.

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Before marrying to Kim Jong-un, Ri Sol-ju was a singer

 

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