North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s wife Ri Sol-ju appeared in state media on Wednesday for the first time in more than a year, as she accompanied her husband to a concert marking one of the country’s biggest holidays.
Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers’ Party, published pictures of them at the birthday party for late leader Kim Jong Il, Kim’s father.
Rey has often accompanied her husband at major public events, but she has not seen since January of last year when she participated in an event marking the Lunar New Year holiday, prompting speculation about her health and the possibility of her pregnancy.
The couple smiled while watching the concert at the Mansudai Arts Theater in the capital, Pyongyang. Unlike several previous events, no one appeared in the pictures published by the newspaper wearing the muzzle or maintaining social distancing measures.
#breaking Ri Sol Ju, wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, makes what appears to be her first public appearance in a year, attending an art performance in Pyongyang. South Korea’s NIS believes she is well and may have avoided appearances as a COVID-19 precaution. (KCNA images) pic.twitter.com/f73kT54OnF
— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) February 17, 2021
North Korea has not confirmed any cases of coronavirus. Still, South Korea’s National Intelligence Agency says an outbreak cannot be ruled out because North Korea had active dealings with China. The virus first appeared before closing the border early last year.