The mystery continues to hang over the disappearance of Ri Sol-ju. Wife of North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un, the 32-year-old has not been seen in public for over a year now. Her last appearance dates back to the celebrations of the last Chinese New Year, January 25, 2020. Sitting to the right of her husband, she had attended a performance given at the Pyongyang Theater.
Of course, its absence raises many questions and inspires dark theories. Noting the young woman’s absence from the North Korean military parade on October 10, the Daily Star raised the possibility that Ri Sol-ju was executed by Kim Jong-un. The British site indeed recalled that in 2013, the Head of State did not hesitate to get rid of his aunt’s husband, Jang Song-thaek, whom he suspected of not sharing his opinion on certain subjects. .
Kim Jong-un’s wife missing due to Covid-19?
According to NK News, the disappearance of Ri Sol-ju could be explained by the Covid-19 pandemic. “She would be at risk of catching the virus by attending public events, and she is the mother of very young children,” said Hong Min, director of the research institute at the Korea Insitute for National Unification. Difficult, however, to take this theory seriously. After all, the North Korean government has always claimed that the virus has not crossed the country’s borders. The emergence of a single case had made headlines in July 2020, but the state has not commented on it.
Lim Eul-chul, professor at Kyungnam University, has a whole different theory. According to him, the absence of Ri Sol-ju would be a choice of Kim Jong-un, who would no longer find interest in seeing her appear at official events. “North Korea has shown enough that Kim Jong-un is a normal leader who brings his wife to events,” said Lim. “But for now, economic issues and real achievements are Pyongyang’s priority. Not formalities and appearances.” Since her marriage to the supreme leader, formalized in 2012, Ri Sol-ju has become the first wife of a North Korean leader to appear at public events alongside her husband. So has Kim Jong-un had enough of sharing the limelight? The mystery remains unsolved.
Kim Jong-Un and his wife Ri Sol-Ju at the banquet after the historic inter-Korean summit in Paju, South Korea. April 27, 2018 © Aflo