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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, May 21, 2018

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Assassinated? Pregnant? Fortified? What really happened to Kim Jong Un’s wife? Rumour mill runs wild

She has not been seen in public for seven months now.

Share on Facebook November 1, 2016, Reporter : Big News Network, Reader : 506

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PYONGYANG, North Korea - There are concerns for the wellbeing of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s wife, who has not been seen in public for seven months now.> BNN

Her absence has sparked rumors of a rift between her and Kim Yo-jong, the leader's younger sister, who is increasingly emerging as the power behind her brother's throne and may be even more remorseless than her brother.

Kim's sister was placed in charge of North Korea's Propaganda and Agitation Department last year, which is responsible for how people view his personality. 

The body plays a key role in developing and spreading propaganda aimed at legitimizing the incumbent regime, often about their "dear leader" himself. 

Other theories are that she could be pregnant, hoping to have a son. 

The two are believed to have tied the knot in 2009 in an arrangement made by Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong-il, and subsequently gave birth to a child, according to reports. 

In fact, it was U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman who in 2013 announced the couple had a daughter. 

He said, "I held their baby Ju-ae and spoke with Ms Ri as well. He's a good dad and has a beautiful family."
Ri Sol-ju, was introduced as first lady in 2012 when she was referred to in public as 'his wife, Comrade Ri Sol-ju'.

Sporting designer clothes and fancy handbags, she was last seen on a tour of a new commercial district and health complex in Pyongyang on March 28 this year, South Korean news agency Yonhap News reported. She was till the beginning of this year seen occasionally with the North Korean leader in public as he toured factories and theme parks.

Among her notable appearances, in December 2014 she attended a ceremony with her husband to commemorate the third anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-un's father.

Then in April last year, wearing what appeared to be a wedding ring on her left hand, she was pictured clapping next to her smiling husband at a football match in the Kim Il Sung Stadium.
Fears for her safety are also mounting because of the wrath and despotic nature of her husband. 

In August, it emerged he had executed one of North Korea’s top officials with an anti-aircraft gun after the man fell asleep in one of his meetings.

The 32-year-old tyrant has in the past been accused of slaughtering members of his own family. 

In December 2013, North Korean state media announced the execution of Jang Sung-taek, the uncle by marriage of Kim Jong-un, also calling him "human scum worse than a dog."

According to a South Korean newspaper, Jang’s nephew, O Sang-hon, was also executed by being burnt alive with a flame thrower.

In 2007, a factory chief convicted of making international phone calls was executed by a firing squad in front of a crowd of 150,000.

A professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University, Toshimitsu Shigemura, who focuses on the Pyongyang leadership, told The Telegraph that Ri’s disappearance could be for several reasons "including that she is pregnant or that there is some sort of problem between the two of them."

He added, "There have also been reports of instability in Pyongyang and even of several attempted attacks, including by factions in the North Korean military, against Kim last year.”

"It is possible that Ri has not appeared in public because she is being closely guarded."

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