Mystery lady likely N. Korea leader’s wife: South


SEOUL, AFP

SEOUL — A mystery woman who has accompanied North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong Un to recent public events appears to be his wife, South Korea’s top official on cross-border affairs said Wednesday. Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik said that “in my judgment she appears to be his wife,” in response to a question from a lawmaker on parliament’s foreign affairs committee. He did not say why he had reached that conclusion. Kim Jong-Un, in his late 20s, took over as leader of the reclusive state from his father Kim Jong Il who died in December, but little is known about the young leader. A smartly dressed woman in her 20s or early 30s has been seen with Jong Un at public events, and speculation has swirled about her identity.

Some analysts have previously suggested she might be Jong Un’s younger sister, although North Korean official media has not said who she is. The short-haired brunette was first shown with Jong Un during a concert in Pyongyang on July 5, wearing a yellow polka dot dress and chic white jacket. She was seen walking next to the leader on July 8 when he visited the mausoleum of his grandfather Kim Il Sung. On July 24, photos aired by state television showed the woman standing close to the new leader during a visit to a kindergarten. With other officials staying a few steps behind the pair, the woman was seen grinning while standing immediately behind or next to Jong Un as he hugged and talked to children.