July 26, 2012 in Nation/World

Mystery woman is Kim’s wife

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju pictured earlier this month.
(Full-size photo)

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea ended weeks of speculation Wednesday by confirming that the mystery woman beside young leader Kim Jong Un at recent public events is indeed his wife, “comrade Ri Sol Ju.”

The news was buried in a state TV report about Kim’s tour of a new amusement park, delivered casually by a newscaster who gave no details about Ri, including how long she and Kim have been married.

Kim, who inherited rule of North Korea from his father, Kim Jong Il, seven months ago, has been seen with Ri at a concert, a kindergarten visit and other events recently, but state media did not mention her before now, fueling widespread speculation about her identity.

Analysts said the announcement was a calculated move by Kim and his advisers as they forge the image of the 20-something leader who took power following the December death of Kim Jong Il.

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