|▲ On the 15th, Chosun Central TV broadcast footage of Kim Jong Eun visiting a central Pyongyang kindergarten, attended by the same woman who was sat next to him at a July 6th concert. (© Yonhap)|
Footage of an unnamed woman in close attendance with Kim Jong Eun was released on North Korean state TV on Sunday, the second such occurrence and one that adds weight to speculation that she may be Kim’s wife.
The same woman was first spotted in footage of Kim at a concert by a newly formed band on July 6th in Pyongyang.
Yesterday, scenes of the two visiting a kindergarten were broadcast, although again the woman was not mentioned in the narration. However, not only her presence but her prominent position in the images has lead to fresh speculation that she is the North Korean leader’s wife.
One anonymous South Korean government official explained that given her positioning in the party, standing or seated close beside the leader but in front of other party members, it is “highly likely that she’s his wife and Kim is actually married.”
Cheong Seong Chang of the Sejong Institute agreed, commenting to Daily NK, “The likelihood that the woman in this photo is his wife is getting higher and higher.”
Being married, Cheong explained, has the potential to relieve some of the pressure on Kim born of his youth and inexperience. “Releasing photos of a specific woman with Kim Jong Eun is designed to let the people know that he is married and convey the image of a safe and secure leader to them,” he explained, adding, “It seems that she is going to start doing more and more of the activities of a first lady.”