The Info List - Ri Sol-ju

Ri Sol-ju or Lee Seol-ju (Chosŏn'gŭl: 리설주;[3] born c. 1985–89)[4][5] is the wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.[6] North Korean state media has officially identified her as "his wife, Comrade Ri Sol-ju".[1]


1 Biography

1.1 Known 1.2 Reported

2 Pregnancy and motherhood 3 See also 4 References

Biography[edit] Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
and his family have been characterized as "secretive".[7] Very little information about Ri Sol-ju has appeared in official North Korean sources, but more speculative information has been reported in foreign media.[8][9] Known[edit] In 2012, Ri made several public appearances standing next to the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, causing speculation about who she might be. South Korean intelligence officials tentatively identified her as Hyon Song-wol, a former singer for the Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble, a musical group popular in North Korea.[10][11] However, on 25 July 2012, North Korean state media announced that she was actually Kim's wife, saying she was "his wife, Comrade Ri Sol-ju".[12][13] In July 2012, at an elite gala concert in North Korea, Ri was stylishly "dressed in a trim black suit in the Chanel tradition", considered unusual for North Korean women.[6][14] Along with other recent changes, such as the firing of a hard-line top general, Kim Jong-un's marriage is seen by analysts as "a continuation of what is either a policy change, or a propaganda offensive, or both".[6] Kenji Fujimoto, the former personal sushi chef of Kim Jong-il, said he met Ri on a recent trip to North Korea. He described her as "just so charming... I cannot describe her voice, it's so soft..."[15][16] As a parting gift, Ri gave Fujimoto a Christian Dior handbag,[16] which Ri was earlier reported to have.[17][18] From 2012 to 2014, Ri appeared occasionally in the North Korean media, accompanying her husband to events, but subsequently she has rarely been seen.[19] She had long periods out of the public view in 2015,[20] 2016,[21][22] and 2017.[23] Reported[edit] Very little is known for certain about Ri; some analysts have even said her name "almost certainly is a pseudonym".[1] Various security analysts, politicians, media and others have made public claims about her that have not been officially confirmed in North Korean media.[24][25] Ri's reported year of birth has ranged between 1985 and 1989 among various sources.[4][5][1] Ri's family is reportedly from the political elite; her mother is the head of a gynecology ward and her father is a professor.[1][26] She is said to have graduated from Geumsung 2 Middle School in Pyongyang and studied abroad in China majoring in vocal music.[5] She is said to be related to Ri Pyong-chol, a former air force general and close advisor of Kim Jong-un.[27] JoongAng Ilbo
JoongAng Ilbo
and some commentators have identified Ri as a singer in the Unhasu Orchestra that has made several overseas performances.[24][26][28][29] Reportedly, North Korean officials are "trying to erase her past as a singer and entertainer by confiscating popular bootleg CDs of her performances",[30] such as her singing the song "Sobaeksu".[31] She is reportedly a graduate student at Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
University, pursuing a PhD in science.[1] She reportedly visited South Korea
South Korea
in 2005, as a member of the North Korean cheerleading team during the Asian Athletics Championships.[5][26][32] She was said to be among 90 cheerleaders who chanted "We are one!".[5] Ri reportedly told a South Korean teacher while on the trip: "We want to take classes from the South's teachers after being reunited as soon as possible."[32] The BBC, quoting an analyst who spoke to The Korea Times of South Korea, reported that Kim's father, Kim Jong-il, had hastily arranged his son's marriage after suffering a stroke in 2008. The two were reportedly married in 2009.[12][33] Pregnancy and motherhood[edit] Ri possibly gave birth to a child in 2010, possibly a son.[34][12][33] In October 2012, there was speculation about Ri's public disappearance, and questions arose whether it was the result of a "breach of discipline" or "pregnancy",[35][36] but she later reappeared with her spouse Kim at a military college.[35][36] It was followed by news reports in December 2012 that Ri was visibly pregnant, although North Korean officials did not comment on the speculation.[37][38][39] In March 2013, former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman
visited Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
in North Korea
North Korea
and on his return told the British tabloid newspaper The Sun that Ri had given birth to a healthy daughter.[40] One South Korean government source speculated that "doctors induced labor to make sure the child was born in 2012, which marked the 100th anniversary of North Korean founder Kim Il-sung", but no exact birth date has been confirmed.[40][41][42] Rodman told The Guardian
The Guardian
in September 2013 that the couple's child, a girl, is named Ju-ae (Korean: 김주애).[40][43] and that Jong-un had "a beautiful family" and was a "good dad."[33] South Korean intelligence officials reported that Ri gave birth to a third child of unknown gender in February 2017.[33]

Biography portal Korea portal North Korea
North Korea

See also[edit]

Unhasu Orchestra

v t e

Select[α] family tree of North Korea's ruling[β] Kim family[γ][δ][ε]

Kim Bo-hyon 1871–1955

Kim Hyong-jik 1894–1926

Kang Pan-sok 1892–1932

Kim Jong-suk 1919[ζ]–1949

Kim Il-sung 1912–1994

Kim Song-ae 1924–2014

Kim Yong-ju 1920–

Kim Young-sook 1947–

Song Hye-rim 1937–2002

Kim Jong-il 1941[ζ]–2011

Ko Yong-hui 1952–2004

Kim Ok 1964–

Kim Kyong-hui 1946–

Jang Song-thaek 1946–2013

Kim Pyong-il 1954–

Kim Sol-song 1974–

Kim Jong-nam 1971–2017

Kim Jong-chul 1981–

Kim Jong-un 1984–

Ri Sol-ju c. 1986–

Kim Yo-jong 1987–

Kim Han-sol 1995–

Kim Ju-ae c. 2012[ζ]–


^ To keep the tree of manageable size, it omits some members, e. g., brothers and sisters of Kim Jong-il. ^ Names of Supreme Leaders of the DPRK (and the name of the article being viewed, if any) are in bold font. ^ Korean names often have a variety of transliterations into English, which can be confusing. For example, "Kim Jong-chul" may also be written "Gim Jeong-cheol" or "Kim Jŏng-ch'ŏl" among many other variations. See Korean romanization
Korean romanization
for more information. ^ Huss, Kan; Frost, Clay. "North Korea's First Family: Mapping the personal and political drama of the Kim clan". msnbc.com. Retrieved 20 January 2013.  (Confirms many, but not all, of the birth and death years. See individual articles for more references.) ^ Yan, Holly (16 February 2017). "The world's most mysterious family tree: Kim Jong Un's secretive dynasty is full of drama, death". Design by Alberto Mier. CNN. Retrieved 16 February 2017.  ^ a b c Official biographies of Kim Jong-suk
Kim Jong-suk
and Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
give birth years of 1917 and 1942, respectively. Kim Ju-ae may have been born in late 2012 or early 2013.


^ a b c d e f Thayer, Nate (26 July 2012). " North Korea
North Korea
IDs Mystery Woman as Kim Jong-Un's Wife—But Who Is She, Really?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 26 July 2012.  ^ "观看牡丹峰乐团新作音乐会". 내나라. 2014-09-04. Retrieved 2014-09-04.  ^ "北김정은 옆 그녀들, 전부다 부인 '리설주'?". 머니투데이. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012.  ^ a b "(LEAD) N. Korean leader's wife visited S. Korea in 2005: spy agency". Yonhap News. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.  ^ a b c d e Joohee Cho (26 July 2012). "North Korea's First Lady Was Cheerleader, Ditches Drab Outfits". ABC News. Retrieved 26 July 2012.  ^ a b c Choe, Sang-hun (26 July 2012). "That Mystery Woman in North Korea? Turns Out She's First Lady". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 July 2012.  ^ "North Korea's secretive 'first family'". BBC
News. 15 February 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2012.  ^ "Ri Sol-ju: pass notes No 3,273". The Guardian. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.  ^ https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/02/485_151556.html ^ Lewis, Leo (25 July 2012). "Mystery woman Ri Sol-ju revealed as Kim Jong-un's bride". The Australian. Retrieved 25 July 2012.  ^ "Kim Jong-Un married to mystery woman Ri Sol-Ju". 26 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.  ^ a b c " North Korea
North Korea
leader Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
married to Ri Sol-ju". BBC News. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.  ^ Sang-hun Choe (25 July 2012). "North Korean Leader Marries". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 July 2012.  ^ Brady, Tara (21 February 2013) In true North Korean fashion, women are 'encouraged' to choose from 18 officially sanctioned hairstyles Daily Mail. Retrieved 2 March 2013 ^ Hancocks, Paula (19 September 2012). "Kim Jong Il's sushi chef returns after fleeing for life". CNN. Retrieved 2 October 2012.  ^ a b Moss, Hilary (19 September 2012). "Confirmed: When Ri Sol-ju Speaks, It Sounds Like Raindrops on Roses". The Cut. Retrieved 2 October 2012.  ^ Lee, Jeff (9 August 2012). "Ri Sol-ju, first lady of impoverished North Korea, shows off luxury Dior handbag". China Buzz. Retrieved 5 October 2012.  ^ "Ri Sol-Ju Bag: Lady Dior Clutch Debate Strikes North Korea". LALate. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.  ^ Emma Prestwich (1 November 2016). "Ri Sol-Ju, Kim Jong-Un's Wife, Hasn't Been Spotted In Public In 7 Months". Huffington Post Canada.  ^ "North Korea's first lady Ri Sol Ju seen for first time this year". CNN. May 3, 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.  ^ Caroline, Mortimer (31 October 2016). "North Korea: Fears for Kim Jong-un's wife Ri Sol-ju after she disappears from public for seven months". The Independent. Retrieved 31 October 2016.  ^ "N. Korean leader, wife make appearance at air combat competition". Yonhap News Agency. 4 December 2016.  ^ Robbins, Josh (11 July 2017). "Kim Jong-un's wife seen for the first time in four months ending growing speculation". IB Times.  ^ a b Martin, Simon (28 July 2012). "North Korea's 'first lady' debut highlights secrecy". RNW Media. Retrieved 29 July 2012.  ^ Ryall, Julian (17 December 2012). "North Korea: could Kim Jong-un's wife be pregnant?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 December 2012.  ^ a b c Kwon, K. J.; Lai, Alexis (26 July 2012). "Kim Jong Un married in 2009, according to intelligence service". CNN. Retrieved 30 July 2012.  ^ O'Connor, Tom (2017-09-27). "Meet Ri Sol Ju, wife of Kim Jong Un and first lady of North Korea". Newsweek. Retrieved 2018-02-10.  ^ Kiyohito Kokita (7 September 2012). "Kim Jong Un's wife shined before marriage as a singer". Asahi Shimbun Weekly.  Missing or empty url= (help); access-date= requires url= (help) ^ " Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
picked out his wife Ri Sol-ju as she sang during a concert performance". The Australian. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.  ^ "N.Korea Squanders Millions on Kim Family Cult". Chosun Ibo. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.  ^ Taylor, Adam (21 September 2012). " Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
Is Trying To Erase His Wife's Popstar Past". Business Weekly. Retrieved 19 December 2012.  ^ a b Ju-min Park (25 July 2012). " North Korea
North Korea
leader's wife can teach him about the enemy". Reuters. Retrieved 25 July 2012.  ^ a b c d "Keeping up with the Kims: North Korea's elusive first family". BBC
News. 2017-08-29. Retrieved 2017-08-29.  ^ O'Connor, Tom (2017-12-30). "Who are Kim Jong Un's children and does North Korea
North Korea
have an heir?". Newsweek. Retrieved 2018-02-10.  ^ a b "Kim Jong-un's wife reappears after two-month absence". The Telegraph. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.  ^ a b Kim, Jack; Macfie, Nick (29 October 2012). " North Korea
North Korea
leader's wife reported back in public after long silence". Reuters. Retrieved 30 October 2012.  ^ Boehler, Patrick (17 December 2012). "Another Lil' Kim? Wife of North Korea's Kim Jong Un Appears 'Heavily Pregnant'". Time. Retrieved 19 December 2012.  ^ Nelson, Sara C. (30 October 2012). "North Korea, Kim Jong Un And Wife Ri Sol Ju Mark 60th Anniversary of Kim II Sung Military University in Pyongyang". Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 December 2012.  ^ "Images suggest North Korea
North Korea
leader's wife pregnant". South China Morning Post. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.  ^ a b c " Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
'Has a Little Daughter'". Chosun. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013.  ^ " Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman
lets the world know Kim Jong Un has a daughter". National Post. Associated Press. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.  ^ Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
'Has 2 Daughters' Chosun 16 May 2013 ^ "Dennis Rodman's slip gives away name of North Korean leader's baby", The Guardian.

v t e

Kim dynasty of North Korea

Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
(1912–1994) Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
(1941–2011) Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un

1st generation

Kim Hyong-jik
Kim Hyong-jik
(Kim Il-sung's father) Kang Pan-sok
Kang Pan-sok
(Kim Il-sung's mother)

2nd generation

Kim Jong-suk
Kim Jong-suk
(Kim Il-sung's first wife, Jong-il's mother) Kim Yong-ju (Kim Il-sung's brother) Kim Song-ae (Kim Il-sung's second wife)

3rd generation

Hong Il-chon (Kim Jong-il's first wife, divorced) Song Hye-rim (Kim Jong-il's first mistress) Kim Man-il (Kim Jong-il's brother) Jang Song-thaek
Jang Song-thaek
(Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law) Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
(Kim Jong-il's sister) Kim Young-sook (Kim Jong-il's wife) Ko Yong-hui
Ko Yong-hui
(Kim Jong-il's second mistress, Jong-un's mother) Kim Pyong-il
Kim Pyong-il
(Kim Jong-il's half-brother) Kim Ok
Kim Ok
(Kim Jong-il's third mistress)

4th generation

Kim Yo-jong
Kim Yo-jong
(Kim Jong-un's sister) Kim Jong-chul (Kim Jong-un's brother) Kim Sul-song (Kim Jong-un's half-sister) Kim Jong-nam
Kim Jong-nam
(Kim Jong-un's half-brother) Ri Sol-ju (Kim Jong-un's wife)

5th generation

Kim Ju-ae (Kim Jong-un's daughter) Kim Han-sol (Kim Jon