|▲ Ri Sol Joo on August 30th and October 29th (©KCNA)|
Ri Sol Joo, the wife of Kim Jong Eun, has appeared in the North Korean state media for the first time in 50 days.
Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Ri’s reappearance yesterday, noting her presence alongside Kim at a concert by the Moran Hill Orchestra on the 29th to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of Kim Il Sung Military University in Pyongyang, what KCNA called the “highest seat of Juche-oriented military education.”
According to KCNA, “The supreme leader of our Party and people, Marshal Kim Jong Eun entered the auditorium with his wife comrade Ri Sol Joo. Instantly, a whirlwind of shouts of 'Hurrah!' rang out.”
The story was also reported on page 3 of Rodong Shinmun today, following news on pages 1 and 2 of the unveiling of statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on the university grounds, an event at which Kim Jong Eun gave a speech.
It was the first time since September 8th that Ri had appeared in North Korean media output, a fact that has attracted widespread attention and inspired a number of competing theories.
One of the most prominent among these is that Ri has fallen pregnant, and therefore retreated from public life. Her appearance in two KCNA photographs, one from a significant distance in a long cream-colored jacket and another one while seated behind a table, do not allow for absolute confirmation of the theory, but lend it very strong credence (see photo above).