Saturday, 16 Oct 2021

Kim Jong-un’s wife makes first appearance in over a year after execution rumours

Kim Jong-un's wife has made her first public appearance in over a year amid speculation surrounding her disappearance.

Ri Sol-ju was last seen in January last year and had not been spotted since, fuelling rumours.

The leader's wife attended a concert commemorating the birthday of Kim Jong-un's father, the late leader Kim Jong-il.

The First Lady of North Korea's last appearance before the concert was on January 25, 2020, where she was spotted with her husband Kim, at the concert celebrating Lunar New Year's Day at the Samjiyon Theater in Pyongyang, reports Yonhap News.

Pictures released by the official newspaper of the ruling party, the Rodong Sinmun, showed the couple enjoying a performance on Tuesday.

Ri's disappearance the past year has fuelled rumours, with speculation she had stepped out of the public eye due to a pregnancy or because of coronavirus.

In October last year she was feared sick or even executed as she had not been seen in public for ten months.

Earlier, Hong Min, director of the North Korean research division at Korea Insitute for National Unification (KINU), said: “[Her disappearance] could be due to Covid-19 … As a mother with young children, participating in public activities risks potential infection.

“Even Kim Jong Un went on the lowest number of on-site guidances in the past year.”

  • Fears grow for Kim Jong-un's wife as she's not seen in public for more than a year

Kim Jong-un had also disappeared for a few months last year with many speculating he was unwell.

North Korea claims to be coronavirus-free as the nation has not released any figures of cases.

However, the country has taken drastic steps to prevent the virus, with strict restrictions on its borders.

Last week North Korea ordered almost two million doses of a coronavirus vaccine, despite the country being officially Covid free.

Last year North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un hailed the country's "shining success" in dealing with the pandemic, saying they had "prevented the inroad of the malignant virus and maintained a stable situation".

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