In an incredibly understated report, Kim Jong Un’s marital status was confirmed almost as an afterthought by state TV mingled with the news of the opening of an amusement park:
“As a welcoming song resonated, dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un, supreme commander of our party and people, appeared at the inauguration ceremony together with his wife, comrade Ri Sol Ju.”
It appeared to be a carefully choreographed appearance aimed at showing Kim Jong Un as a friendly, modern leader, no different from the heads of other countries. It also provided a sharp contrast to the intensely private face his father Kim Jong Il had portrayed during his 17 years in power.
Such public displays of affection aren’t unusual among ordinary North Koreans, but they are a big change for the ruling family and a “shocking” development in a country like North Korea, where first ladies are normally hidden from publicity, said Lee Woo-young, a professor at Seoul’s University of North Korean Studies.
South Korean media reports said Ri Sol Ju is a former popular singer and …. that they married in 2009!