Saturday, April 21, 2018

North Korea's Kim First Lady

PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju
Picture posted by n-tv on Thursday, 03 January 2013

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https://bilder4.n-tv.de/img/incoming/origs9884351/3432531092-w1280-h960/RTR35BP8.jpg
https://www.ntv.de/politik/Diktator-Kim-wieder-Vater-article9884376.html



Seoul - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has given his young, stylish wife the title of First Lady in what analysts say is a major boost to her status ahead of back-to-back summits with South Korea and the United States.



Ri Sol Ju has often accompanied Kim to official events but made her first solo public appearance last weekend at a ballet performance by a visiting Chinese troupe.

The North's state media reported the outing referring to her as the "respected First Lady" - the first time the title has been used in more than 40 years, and with the addition of an adjective usually reserved for the country's leaders.



Ri Sol Ju has often accompanied Kim to official events but made her first solo public appearance last weekend at a ballet performance by a visiting Chinese troupe.

PHOTO: Ri Sol Ju has often accompanied Kim to official events but made her first solo public appearance last weekend at a ballet performance by a visiting Chinese troupe.
Picture posted by Chen Jingwen, AsiaOne on 11 September 2017

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http://www.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/inline/images/227_1505110464.jpg
http://www.asiaone.com/asia/kim-jong-uns-stylish-wife-makes-surprise-appearance-party-celebrating-nuclear-achievements



North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju, the  First Lady
PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju, the  First Lady
Picture posted by  Reuters/Scanpix nuotr.

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https://media.lrytas.lt/images/2017/09/04/064634942-c2da1717-77a2-42f7-bd1c-1d3ca1c36b5f.jpg
https://pasaulis.lrytas.lt/ivykiai/2017/09/04/news/isaiskejo-dar-viena-kim-jong-uno-seimos-paslaptis-2428142/#foto=2428130



North Korea's elderly star anchorwoman Ri Chun Hee - who is often drafted in for major announcements - delivered the news of her attendance on television, further enhancing Ri's standing.

Dressed in a dusty pink two-piece skirt suit, Ri was accompanied by senior North Korean officials often seen with the leader, including Kim's younger sister, Yo Jong.

Ri, a former star singer, emerged in 2012 and has been regarded as one of the most high-profile women in the isolated, deeply patriarchal nation, but with a limited role as Kim's stylish, coy wife.



Ri, a former star singer, emerged in 2012 and has been regarded as one of the most high-profile women in the isolated, deeply patriarchal nation, but with a limited role as Kim's stylish, coy wife.
PHOTO: Ri, a former star singer, emerged in 2012 and has been regarded as one of the most high-profile women in the isolated, deeply patriarchal nation, but with a limited role as Kim's stylish, coy wife.
Picture posted by KCNA/Reuters on  25 June 2015 at 21:45 hr - North Korea Kim Jong Un and his wife at the halls of the new international airport in Pyongyang
Picture posted by lrytas.lt on 04 September 2017 at 15:01

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https://pasaulis.lrytas.lt/ivykiai/2017/09/04/news/isaiskejo-dar-viena-kim-jong-uno-seimos-paslaptis-2428142/



North Korea Kim Jong Un and his wife at the new international airport in Pyongyang.
PHOTO: North Korea Kim Jong Un and his wife at the new international airport in Pyongyang.
Picture posted by Reuters/KCNA

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Analysts say her promotion is likely to be part of an effort to paint North Korea as a "normal state" as it prepares for summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in next Friday and later with US President Donald Trump.

It also gives her a title matching that of their wives Kim Jung-sook and Melania.

"Promoting Ri Sol Ju is the most effective marketing strategy," An Chan-il, a defector researcher who runs the World Institute for North Korea Studies, told AFP.

"The summit is being held as equals, so if Melania Trump attends, Ri will attend," he said, noting that the North Korean leader's wife accompanied him when he went to Beijing last month on his first overseas trip since inheriting power.



North Korean leader's wife accompanied him when he went to Beijing last month on his first overseas trip since inheriting power.
PHOTO: North Korean leader's wife accompanied him when he went to Beijing last month on his first overseas trip since inheriting power.
Picture posted by AFP on 19 April 2018

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http://www.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/inline/images/736_1524115250.jpg
http://www.asiaone.com/asia/new-role-wife-north-koreas-kim-first-lady



Mother's trauma
Ri was previously referred to as "comrade" by the North's state media, and the weekend report was the first time the "First Lady" title had been used to describe the leader's spouse since 1974, when it was applied to Kim Song Ae, the second wife of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung.

Little is known about Ri, who is believed to be 29 and to have three children with Kim, at least one of them a daughter.



Ri was previously referred to as 'comrade' by the North's state media, and the weekend report was the first time the 'First Lady' title had been used to describe the leader's spouse since 1974.
PHOTO: Ri was previously referred to as "comrade" by the North's state media, and the weekend report was the first time the "First Lady" title had been used to describe the leader's spouse since 1974.
Picture posted by AFP on 19 April 2018

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http://www.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/inline/images/736_1524115236.jpg
http://www.asiaone.com/asia/new-role-wife-north-koreas-kim-first-lady



South Korean intelligence reports have described her as coming from an ordinary family with a teacher father and a doctor mother.

A former member of the North's Unhasu Orchestra, Ri reportedly attended a music school in China and visited South Korea in 2005 as a cheerleader for her country's squad in an international sporting event.

She is known to be a fashion aficionado and is often pictured wearing luxury outfits - on one occasion carrying what appeared to be a Christian Dior handbag - in a country plagued by chronic poverty.



North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol-Ju, seen in an undated handout image from North Korean state media, attending an art performance in Pyongyang.
PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol-Ju, seen in an undated handout image from North Korean state media, attending an art performance in Pyongyang.
Picture posted by Euan McKirdy, CNN on 17 April 2018 at 11:27 PM

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http://cnnwire.images.worldnow.com/images/16561162_G.jpg?lastEditedDate=20180417180229 - (16561162_G.jpg)
http://www.kpax.com/story/37975614/kim-jong-uns-wife-afforded-new-level-of-respect-in-north-korean-media



Some analysts point to Kim's marginalised mother Ko Yong Hui as another factor driving Ri's expanded role.

Ko, an ethnic Korean from Japan, had three children with Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il, but had a low profile throughout her 28-year marriage.

She died in 2004, reportedly from breast cancer, and her body is said to have been secretly flown from Paris, where she was being treated, to Pyongyang.

A grave was only built for her in 2012, after Kim inherited power.



Kim Jung Un with wife Ri Sol Ju
PHOTO: Kim Jung Un with wife Ri Sol Ju
PHOTO: The appearance of the first lady of North Korea, Ri Sol-Un, occurred as part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Workers' Party.
Picture posted by taringa.net

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https://www.taringa.net/posts/noticias/19040929/Mira-el-caramelito-que-se-come-el-gordito-Kim-Jong-Un.html



"I think Kim Jong Un's trauma of watching his own mother living in the shadows also factored in," said Shin Beom-chul, an analyst at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

"Growing up watching his mother could have motivated him to elevate the status of his wife."

Olympic envoy
Unlike his father and grandfather, Kim is often seen accompanied by the women in his life - namely Ri and Yo Jong - in a break from the past when leaders' spouses or sisters rarely made public appearances.

Kim sent his younger sister to the Winter Games in the South on a diplomatic charm offensive.



In this April 14, 2018, file photo provided by the North Korean government, Ri Sol Ju claps while walking with her husband, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
PHOTO:  In this April 14, 2018, file photo provided by the North Korean government, Ri Sol Ju claps while walking with her husband, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Picture posted by Eric Talmadge, The Associated Press on 17 April 2018 at 9:12 pm

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https://cdn.saleminteractivemedia.com/associated-press/data/photos/2018/107/bddbc545-ab6d-4266-8472-b41df981ff05.jpg
http://880thebiz.com/news/world/to-soften-image-kim-jong-un-turns-spotlight-to-sister-wife



According to the Yonhap News Agency, Kim Jong-un said he did not need test shots and agreed to close the nuclear test facility.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, Kim Jong-un said he did not need test shots and agreed to close the nuclear test facility.
PHOTO: According to the Yonhap News Agency, Kim Jong-un said he did not need test shots and agreed to close the nuclear test facility.
Picture posted by The Associated Press profile picture on 21 April 2018 at 06:33 HKT

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PHOTO: In this April 14, 2018, photo provided by the North Korean government, Ri Sol Ju, center, wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, talks with Song Tao, left, head of the ruling Communist Party's International Department, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Six years into his reign, Kim Jong Un appears to be putting the spotlight on the women in his life. Over the past few months, Kim has increasingly shared the stage with his younger sister Kim Yo Jong, who became an instant celebrity as his envoy to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, and his wife Ri Sol Ju, a former singer in her late 20s. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified.       
(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
Picture posted by Eric Talmadge, The Associated Press on 17 April 2018 at 9:12 pm

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http://www.570news.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/sites/3/2018/04/18/TOK705-417_2018_023727_hd.jpg
http://www.570news.com/2018/04/17/to-soften-image-kim-jong-un-turns-spotlight-to-sister-wife/



His late father was known to be blunt and secretive, but the younger Kim - whose regime stands accused of widespread human rights violations by critics - has cultivated an outgoing and informal style, and his marriage also appears to be different.

According to the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun, Ri referred to the North Korean leader as "my husband" in a meeting with the South's officials in Pyongyang, and giggled and clapped when one of them suggested that Kim quit smoking.



North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan as they visit the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.
PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan as they visit the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.
Source: KCNA/KNS/EPA
Picture posted by David Tweed on 29 March 2018 at 6:16 PM GMT+8

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/photo-essays/2018-03-29/how-china-s-xi-gave-kim-jong-un-the-trump-treatment



The younger Kim has cultivated an outgoing and informal style, Unlike his father and grandfather, Kim is often seen accompanied by the women in his life - namely Ri and Yo Jong - in a break from the past when leaders' spouses or sisters rarely made public appearances.
PHOTO: The younger Kim has cultivated an outgoing and informal style, Unlike his father and grandfather, Kim is often seen accompanied by the women in his life - namely Ri and Yo Jong - in a break from the past when leaders' spouses or sisters rarely made public appearances.
The first ladies of North Korea had never shown themselves publicly. Young and beautiful, many assume that exposing Ri Sol-Ju was a propaganda maneuver by the leader, trying to appear mature and modern.
Picture posted by TN.com on 29 August 2017 at 22:41 hr - Ri Sol-ju

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https://cdn.tn.com.ar/sites/default/files/styles/embed_image/public/2017/08/29/59a5924cac468ri-sol-moda.jpg
https://tn.com.ar/internacional/que-se-sabe-de-ri-sol-ju-la-misteriosa-primera-dama-de-corea-del-norte_816667


By AFP, 19 April 2018
 


Reference
[1]  AFP, New role for wife of North Korea's Kim: First Lady, posted on 19 April 2018, http://www.asiaone.com/asia/new-role-wife-north-koreas-kim-first-lady