Normally appearing next to Kim Jong Un during on-the-spot guidance trips or at music concerts in Pyongyang, the North Korean First Lady has in effect completely disappeared from the North Korean news cycle.
Conservative South Korean newspaper the JoongAng Ilbo speculates that Ri’s sudden removal from the public eye may have been down to the fact that, after officially ‘coming out’ as Kim’s wife, she was never seen in public wearing a Kim Il Sung lapel badge – a mandatory accessory for all North Koreans.
The paper also cites an un-named source as saying her disappearance may have been related to her taste in expensive-looking trouser suits and handbags – factors that have already been the subject of many a speculative article by both tabloid and broadsheet publications alike and are probably unconnected to her disappearance.
Meanwhile, however, other rumours are spreading fast that Ri is in fact pregnant, and therefore hidden from public view, after the Daily NK broke the news that stories of a similar nature were spreading by word of mouth among North Koreans.
it’s rare that we are presented with an opportunity to share what North Koreans are (supposedly) talking about and, for this reason, we’ve translated the below articles that, although in the mainstream South Korean news cycle, have not (yet) become top news – early reactions from netizens remain unconvinced.
Ri Sol Ju hasn’t been seen lately… leads to pregnancy rumours
The North Korean First Lady, Ri Sol Ju has been hidden from public appearances, and amidst the curiosity [the media] is focusing on the theory that she is in fact pregnant.
On October 15, the specialist North Korean media outlet, DailyNK.com quoted the words of a North Korean insider source, that due to the fact Ri Sol Ju, who appears frequently on Korean Central Television (KCTV) and the Rodong Shinmun, had not appeared at all, the rumour that ‘it is because she is pregnant, and her bump is showing’ has spread rapidly.
The source added: ‘Each time [Ri Sol Ju] appeared on KCTV, it was suggested by those women with good eyes that she was most likely pregnant, and going into September, and women who saw the video recording of her visit to a private home in Changjon Street in Pyongyang spoke as though they were confident of the pregnancy, saying ‘It seems like the leader’s wife is pregnant with her second child.’
Previously, in May Ri Sol Ju had visited a private home in the newly-transformed apartment blocks of Changjon Street together with Kim Jong Un, delivering birthday presents and gifts. The basis of the pregnancy rumor is the fact that during the visit, there was a glimpse of Ri Sol Ju washing a cup in the kitchen, and it seemed as though her stomach was protruding more than usual.
Even beyond this, on a trip that Ri Sol Ju took with Kim Jong Un the fact that her stomach looked swollen added to the suspicions. It was different from when a woman usually puts on weight and her upper abdomen protrudes; in Ri Sol Ju’s case, both her upper abdomen and stomach were sticking out, as one would expect from a woman in the early stages of pregnancy.
Furthermore, at the dedication ceremony for the Reung-ra People’s Leisure Park, Ri Sol Ju, who was always beside Kim Jong Un, did not appear when Kim Jong Un rode the rollercoaster. At the time, Ri Sol Ju had her hands clasped behind her back, but this could also be seen as a way of balancing her pregnant body.
Of course, it is impossible to judge whether or not a woman is pregnant simply from outward appearance. However, it seems that the fact that Ri Sol Ju has continually not appeared at public engagements has continued to fuel rumors of a second pregnancy.
Ri Sol Ju Not Seen for a Month, Pregnancy Rumors Spread
While the North Korean ‘First Lady’ Ri Sol Ju, has not appeared in public since September 8, leaving a month since she was last seen, rumors of a pregnancy are growing. The specialist North Korean media outlet, DailyNK.com quoted the words of a North Korean insider source on October 16, reporting that ‘Ri Sol Ju, who frequently appears on Korean Central Television or in the Rodong Shinmun, has not appeared, and amongst the citizens of North Korea the rumor is spreading that ‘it’s because she is pregnant and her bump is showing.”
This source said ‘Each time [Ri Sol Ju] appeared on KCTV, it was suggested by those women with good eyes that she was most likely pregnant’ and added that ‘Women who saw the recording on September 5, when Ri Sol Ju and Kim Jong Un, the leader of the national defense committee, visited Changjon Street in Pyongyang, spoke as though they were confident of the pregnancy, saying ‘It seems like the leader’s wife is pregnant with her second child.”
At the time, Ri Sol Ju visited a private home in a modern-style apartment block in Changjon Street in Pyongyang, and the North Korean media revealed an image of Ri Sol Ju washing a cup in the kitchen. In the process, the fact that Ri Sol Ju’s stomach was protruding more than usual became the basis for pregnancy rumours. Differing from when women put on weight and their lower abdomen sticks out, it is explained that Ri Sol Ju’s upper abdomen was also protruding together with the lower abdomen, consistent with the characteristics of early pregnancy.
Comments from Daum
You’re kidding. This Ri Sol Ju pregnancy is blowing up because it’s such an extraordinary thing..
Isn’t it natural?~~
When a man and a woman sleep together, what’s making a mountain out of a molehill there~~
They’re a couple~ couple couple~~
If a young woman gets married, then she can get pregnant, right?…What’s unusual about that….?…The fact that Kim Jong Un’s wife is pregnant, would it be crazy if this had a big effect on South-North relations…?
Mummy is pregnant with a prince ke ke ke
Did a woman in her sixties get pregnant? What’s false about this?
Is this also something the journalist made up?
Even in the midst of such busy political affairs, looks like he’s still got time for sex every night…ke ke ke ke ke ke
Please have a son….Congratulations…
It’s a joke, I’m bemused, journalist, sir…
When you look at her, she’s definitely pregnant. But the South Korean media interpreted this as her being fat.
I only believe in Ri Sol Ju, the wife of Kim Jong Un who will unite the Korean peninsula. It might be men who move the world, but it is women who move men. She had a night of sex with him. The sole person who can melt her husband Kim Jong Un, is Ri Sol Ju.
The way to spot a commie:
1) If some difficult point about North Korea comes up, they ask why do you care about other people’s business?
2)They say that our country does it more, or that we’re both the same.
3) They say that division and class are all the fault of pro-Japanese traitors.
4) They definitely would say anything about Jong Un’s baby.
5) Through film or the media, they try to arouse feelings of affinity, and let us know in detail about beautiful defectors, North Korean lovers, sports and Ri Sol Ju. Still, are we no relation to them? I have no notion of them as our nemesis.
Would the journalist write how many times Park Geun-Hye goes to the toilet?
Will knowing whether she is pregnant or not make the people working at the barbed wire more thorough?
Why is there such a fuss about whether she is pregnant or not? Isn’t this all the journalist’s opinion? When a man and a woman get married and live together, isn’t it natural? Journalist, sir, you’re just the same. Shouldn’t you have to upgrade the level of your South Korean journalism credientials???
It’s not the third generation of descendants but the fourth~~Am I going overboard if I call it the spawn of satan?