Clampdown on Ri Rumor Continues

Following the spread of a scandal involving Kim Jong Eun’s wife, Ri Sol Ju, the authorities have moved to clampdown on the situation, using public lectures to instruct citizens: “Do not try to find out about Marshal Kim and his wife, comrade Ri Sol Ju, and if you hear anything, pretend that you did not.”

The news was reported by an inside source from Shinuiju in North Pyongan Province on the 30th.

“At a regular meeting of the Womens’ Union (Chosun Union of Democratic Women), it was made clear that ‘We will hold strong ideological struggle meetings to address the current phenomenon of spreading and wanting to learn of this baseless rumor,’” the source revealed.

“They threatened us at the lecture, saying: ‘Don’t try to learn more about the issue with the Marshal (Kim Jong Eun) and his wife, comrade Ri Sol Ju,'” the lecturer reportedly noted. “‘Those who try to learn the details of this wild rumor or even go as far as to spread it around will be severely punished.’”

However, the source went on to recall that, as a result, “People actually became suspicious as to why a mere rumor about Kim Jong Eun and his wife would need to be controlled.”

According to the source, people are careful not to talk about the issue in public, but it is widely suspected that “there is something [about Kim Jong Eun and Ri Sol Ju] that they don’t want us to know.” Of course: “Telling us not to know or find out only makes us more curious.”

Except for referring to her as “the Marshal’s wife” when she makes site visits alongside her husband, the North Korean media generally does not make reference to Ri Sol Ju.

On this, the source concluded, “As she is the Marshal’s wife they ought to begin the idolization process; however, it’s difficult to idolize someone like Ri Sol Ju due to her origins and career. While she has been introduced in the media, they have not tried to idolize her. It’s already well-known that she is from a musical troupe, and they want to completely block the latest rumor.”

Daily NK first reported on the 25th that the North Korean authorities had launched an investigation to track down the origin of the leak about Ri’s past conduct.

Kang Mi Jin
Kang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to