It had been over a year since she had given any sign of life. In early May, Kim Jong-Un was out to attend a performance by the Korean People’s Army (KPA) military families at the Mansudae Art Theater in Pyongyanga. To everyone’s surprise, it was accompanied by his wife Ri Sol-Ju that the North Korean dictator was seen, as reported by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 6. The 32-year-old had completely disappeared from circulation for 15 months. Her last appearance was in fact on January 25, 2020. She had attended with her husband a performance given at the Pyongyang Theater on the occasion of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
His absence did not fail to raise many questions but also to give rise to the wildest rumors. On October 10, the Daily Star raised the possibility that Ri Sol-ju was executed by Kim Jong-Un. The theory of a possible hidden pregnancy had also been put forward. For his part, Lim Eul-chul, professor at Kyungnam University, also believed that the disappearance of Ri Sol-Ju was the result of a choice of Kim Jong-Un. According to him, the leader perhaps no longer saw any point in his wife accompanying him to his official events: “North Korea has shown enough that Kim Jong-un is a normal leader who brings his wife to the events. But for now, economic issues and real achievements are Pyongyang’s priority. Not formalities and appearances. ” Lim explained. After her marriage made official in 2012, Ri Sol-Ju became the first wife of a North Korean leader to appear at public events alongside her husband.
Ri Sol-Ju had already disappeared several times
Note that this is not the first time that Ri Sol-Ju, slips away for several months. The former singer spotted on stage by Kim Jong-Un usually disappears when she is pregnant. Already in 2016, she retired from public life for nine months, just before giving birth to the couple’s third child. According to information from the South Korean secret service, the couple are the parents of three children, at least one of whom is a girl. But the identities of the latter remain very secret in order to prevent them from becoming potential targets of enemy countries. Would a fourth child have joined the family since, thus explaining the disappearance of Ri Sol-Ju? The mystery remains unsolved.
Kim Jong-Un and his wife Ri Sol-Ju © Aflo