[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
NK unveils Kim Jong-un 'mystery' marriage
State report ends weeks of speculation over unknown woman who had accompanied the 20-something leader at recent events.
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2012 14:42
State media confirms Kim Jong-un has married, ending speculation over his relationship [Reuters]

North Korea has said its new leader is married, announcing the union for the first time in routine state TV report.

The bulletin, which aired on Wednesday evening, ended weeks of speculation about a woman who accompanied Kim Jung-un to recent public events.

Kim toured an amusement park with his "wife, comrade Ri Sol-ju'' on Tuesday, while a crowd cheered for the leader, the speaker said without giving any more details about Ri, including how long they had been married.

Seven months after inheriting the country from his father, Kim Jong-il, the 20-something leader has been shown in the media several times with the young woman, including at a concert where Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters appeared and at tours of various North Korean sites.

While the woman has no been identified until now, media and analysts in South Korea were quick to guess that she was his wife.

Kim's public appearances with the woman are a striking change from his father's style. Kim Jong-il's 17-year rule was known for its secrecy.

His companions and his children weren't mentioned by state media, including Kim Jong-un, who was virtually unknown before his formal introduction to the world in late 2010.

The new leader's style is considered more similar to his grandfather, North Korea founder Kim Il-sung, who built homes, parks and schools and was often shown alongside his wife, Kim Jong-suk, and with children in his arms.

The speculation about Kim Jong-un's private life has coincided with high tension on the Korean Peninsula following a North Korean long-range rocket launch in April and repeated threats by Pyongyang to attack the South.

267

Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
Part of the joint accord aimed at ending the political impasse establishes an independent National Election Commission.
Rights groups say the US prosecution of terrorism cases targets Muslims and are fraught with abuses.
Local painters forgo experimentation to cater to growing number of foreign buyers.
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
join our mailing list