After much speculation surrounding her disappearance, Kim Jong Un’s wife Ri Sol Ju appears to be back in the public eye.
Kim Jong Un, who himself had not been seen in public since October 14th, came back in a big way on Monday. He appeared on four separate occasions for cameras at a football match, a music performance, the unveiling of some new statues and with staff at the Kim Il Sung Military University. He appears to have brought his previously M.I.A. wife with him.
As NK NEWS exclusively broke, Kim’s wife mysteriously disappeared from public view for what would eventually total more than fifty days.
But Ri Sol Ju re-appeared with Kim Jong Un at the Moranbong Band performance and the soccer match, ending a month and a half speculation as to her whereabouts. A quick look at one of the pictures released by state news agency KCNA hints that she may indeed be pregnant, although it’s impossible to say for sure.
Furthermore, a couple of other figures close to the center have re-appeared after unexplained absences.
Kim Jong Un’s aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, also appeared with Jong Un at the soccer match. Though South Korean media said she was “seriously ill” just a month ago, she has been much more visible in recent weeks, appearing with Jong Un five times out of the eleven appearances he made in October. In addition, Minister of Public Security Ri Myong Su made his first public appearance since late August, attending the Moranbong Performance and photo session.
Meanwhile, for those paying very close attention to Kim’s grand game of Leadership Chess, a handful of senior party members have appeared at the unveiling of a statue in unusually stripped-down, military garb.
Yonhap reported that Kim Kyong Ok (First Deputy Director of the Organization & Guidance Department), Kim Yong Chun (Director of the Civil Defense Department), Ri Yong Mu (Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission), Ju Kyu Chang (Director of the Machine-Building Industry Department) and O Kuk Ryol (Director of the Operations Department) all appeared at the unveiling of statue of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Iln simple Red Guard uniform.
Since the year began, there have been 122 KCNA reports of Kim Jong Un’s activities, and he has attended nearly 143 events to date. This sharply contrasts with Kim Jong Il when he took over, who only made 126 appearances in his first three years in power (July 1994 – July 1997)
What could it all mean? Readers are welcome to posit their favorite conspiracy theories in the comments below.
(Special thanks to Jaesung Ryu for flagging the Yonhap article and translation assistance)
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