December 07, 2023

“Respected” Ri Sol Ju: a new personality cult for N. Korea’s first lady?

The leader's wife has a new title and an increasingly prominent public image

The April 15 edition of the Rodong Sinmun was sensational in many ways. First of all, the newspaper coming out on Kim Il Sung’s birthday did not feature his portrait on the first page. In fact, the Great Leader was not even mentioned in the report on the first page, which was dedicated to Kim Jong Un meeting a visiting Chinese delegation. Nor did he appear on the second one.

The third page was, finally, dedicated to the Great Leader - with a meeting in his honor being presided by an empty chair (Kim Jong Un skipped the meeting.)