An interesting rumor is reportedly now circulating in North Korea, namely that shortly prior to his official unveiling at the 3rd Chosun Workers’ Party Delegates’ Conference on September 28th, 2010, Kim Jong Eun married a girl in her 20s from North Hamkyung Province.
A source from the region explained the story in conversation with The Daily NK yesterday, saying that the rumor among cadres is that Kim married a woman from the city of Chongjin.
While unproven, the rumor is relatively detailed. The woman apparently graduated from Kim Il Sung University, and is currently studying for the North Korean equivalent of a doctorate. Her family home is in the Sunam district of Chongjin, her father is a teacher at Chongjin University and her mother is head of obstetrics and gynaecology at the No.1 People’s Hospital in the city.
“On every holiday starting last year, three or four Mercs carrying gifts sent by comrade Youth General come to the house,” the source further claimed. “The woman’s mother is just the head of obs & gynae there, but they say she wields more power than the hospital chief or junior Party secretary.”
This is not actually the first time that word of Kim’s alleged marriage has been received by Daily NK. Since the start of September, another source, this one from the North Korean capital, has been reporting a similar rumor.
According to that source, “Jang Sung Taek selected one of the better known figures at Kim Il Sung University with a good academic record and lined her up with General Kim. I am hearing that last year, at the end of two years of dating with the woman, he had a wedding.”
“Among the soldiers, they are saying that at the time of the cannon salute for the 65th anniversary of the Party founding, the Youth General accepted the woman’s proposal.”
However, an official connected closely with South Korean intelligence cautioned against taking the rumors as facts, saying, “There is as yet no confirmed information about the marriage of Kim Jong Eun.”
Lee Kwang Baek, who heads Radio Free Chosun, agreed, saying, “The inquisitiveness of the North Korean people has been amplified greatly by the official unveiling of Kim Jong Eun at last September’s 3rd Chosun Workers’ Party Delegates’ Conference. The people’s ‘chronic economic fatigue’ is reaching a climax and the authorities have decided to promise the Strong and Prosperous State by 2012, so at some point a lot more rumors about the successor started going around.”
However, the idea that Kim could be pressed into marriage in order to enhance his reputation cannot be ruled out. North Korea has been pushing on with idolization of the successor for some time, and marriage would certainly not do him any harm.