Thanks in part to the explosion of interest in the private life of Kim Jong Eun that has followed in the wake of recent public appearances by a young woman looking and acting like the leader’s wife, there is now a rumor going around that Kim also has a three-year old son.
A source from North Hamkyung Province told Daily NK about the rumor yesterday, explaining, “Interest in the woman who was with Kim Jong Eun is growing here, too. Not only that; there is also this rumor spreading that he has a three year old boy!”
According to the source, the story, for which there is no evidence, has it that after he collapsed with a stroke in the summer of 2008, a hospitalized Kim Jong Il said that he wished he could see a grandchild. Presumably inspired by this, Kim Jong Eun is said to have then married a woman from Chongjin in 2009, and had a son in 2010, thus fulfilling his father’s wishes.
However, the source said, “Nobody seems to know the name of the child or where he or she is growing up.”
In October last year, Daily NK reported on another rumor circulating in the cadre community (lending it somewhat more credence than a market-based rumor) that suggested Kim had married a woman two years his junior from Chongjin.
The mystery woman was said to be a Kim Il Sung University graduate who was then in the middle of a doctoral program at the same institution. Her father was said to be a teacher at Chongjin University and her mother the head of obstetrics and gynaecology at the No.1 People's Hospital in the city.
Kim Jong Eun’s three recent appearances with the young lady who is inspiring so much intrigue (a concert on the 6th, visiting Kumsusan Memorial Palace at midnight on the 8th, and then at a nursery in central Pyongyang in the days preceding the 16th) represent the most recent attempt by regime propagandists to forge Kim’s rule in the image of that of grandfather Kim Il Sung.
While the state media never showed Kim Jong Il with a woman during onsite guidance visits in his lifetime, Kim Il Sung's second wife Kim Sung Ae was introduced to the people indirectly via her attendance on his trips. She first stood by his side in the style of a wife at an event to welcome Cambodian dignitaries in 1965, although she was introduced then as being the vice-chairwoman of what is now known as the Union of Democratic Women.