Is North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un A New Dad?

North Korean first lady Ri Sol-ju.
Chosun Ilbo

There's media speculation that Kim Jong-un may have added another title to his roles as new North Korean leader and new husband - could he be a new father?

Notoriously secretive North Korea apparently released an image of Kim's stylish wife, Ri Sol-ju this week, attending a New Year's event. She's trim and glamorous in her purple suit, standing next to her saluting husband.

South Korea's Chosun Ilbo posted the image of Ri on its news site next to another one of Ri snapped on December 21; there, she's certainly not trim. Ri is shown wearing a modest red and black long sleeved gown, possibly covering a swelling mid-section - it does appear that she's pregnant.

Not everyone is making the leap. Yonhap News Agency is more restrained, remarking Ri has had "an apparent loss of weight" and that might mean she'd given birth.

But with no official word from North Korea, it's all guesswork. Remember, it was only after rumors grew last summer over Kim's marital status that North Korea disclosed he'd married Ri. As Mark wrote, there had been interest in Kim's possible relationship with another woman referred to as the 'Excellent Horse-like Lady', singer Hyon Song-wol. Or Hyon and Ri could even have been the same woman all along.

If the hunches prove true, this might not be a first child for Ri and Kim. Last year, ABC's Akiko Fujita tweeted a story from Japan's Yomiyuri Online suggesting the couple had previously had a daughter, in 2010.



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