Kim Jong-un's wife Ri Sol-ju makes first public appearance of 2015 at state celebrations

She was seen clapping and smiling alongside her husband at a football match

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Kim Jong-un's wife has made her first public appearance this year, joining North Korea's Supreme Leader at a ceremony celebrating his grandfather's birthday.

The ruling party's official newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, carried a picture of the smiling couple on its front page, showing them clapping while flanked by senior officials at a football match.

Ri Sol-ju, appearing to wear a wedding ring on her left hand, watched the men’s game at the Kim Il-sung Stadium on Monday, according to state media.

She was last seen in public in December at a ceremony commemorating the death of the current leader’s father, Kim Jong-il.

Rodong-Sinmun.jpg
Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, carried the picture on its front page

Ri’s marriage to Kim was confirmed by the government in 2012, following weeks of speculation as photos emerged of her accompanying the young leader.

They are believed to have at least one child together, although the details have not been officially confirmed.

Monday’s event was part of extensive official celebrations marking the 103rd birthday of North Korea’s founder and the current leader’s grandfather.

He founded the country’s all-encompassing Juche ideology, also known as Kimilsungism, and his powerful personality cult, reinforced by propaganda, continues today.

2-Sky-turned-red-ALAMY.jpg
Kim Jong-il, right, and his father, Kim Il-sung, depicted at Mount Paektu, where the pair were both born, according to official records

The anniversary of his birth, on Wednesday, has been named the “Day of the Sun” by the DPRK.

A two-day national holiday has been called including performances, art, exhibitions and sport, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

It claimed “an endless stream of people” were travelling to his birthplace in Mangyongdae, where Kim Il-sung’s childhood home has been preserved as a place of pilgrimage.

On Sunday, it said 800 men and women ran a special marathon, watched by 600 spectators from “dozens of countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Sweden, Finland, UK and Italy”.

A flower named after North Korea’s first leader, the “Kimilsungia” had its own festival on Monday on the theme of “undying Kimilsungia in full bloom thanks to blessings of great sun”, KCNA said.

The agency claimed tens of thousands of the plants had been cultivated  by soldiers, civil servants and children “with ardent yearning and intense loyalty to the President”.

Meanwhile, singers and dancers have been performing at the Spring People's Art Festival, also dedicated to Kim Il-sung.

KCNA reported celebratory songs including “We Live in the Embrace of the Leader”, “Where Are You, Dear General?”, “Song of Blessed People” and “Our Country Is Very Good”.

Kim Il-sung led North Korea from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994 and was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-Il, who ruled until his death in December 2011.

Comments