Speculation is growing that Ri Sol-ju, wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is either pregnant or has angered Communist leaders as the number of days she has spent out of the public eye rises to 40.
Ri Sol-ju was announced as Kim Jong-un’s wife in July but recent newspaper reports in South Korea are rife with rumors about the reasons why the new first lady has not been spotted for nearly six weeks.
Some reports have suggested she may be pregnant, an idea fuelled by appearances on Chosun Central TV and of her visiting Changieon Street homes in early September with Kim Jong-un to deliver birthday food and gifts.
Other reports have highlighted the fact Ri Sol-ju failed to join her husband on a roller coaster ride at the opening of the Reungra People’s Resort, while her aging aunt Kim Kyung-hee took the plunge as evidence that she was pregnant.
A more bizarre theory that is also receiving publicity is that Ri Sol-ju may have received a ban from appearing in public after she failed to wear a lapel pin declaring her loyalty to the Communist regime.
China.org reported a North Korean rebel source revealing that a strict rule says the country’s adults must adorn badges featuring leaders on formal occasions
Ri Sol-ju’s modern appearance marked a major change from the traditional images of North Korean women, who are expected to dress conservatively, wearing skirts or Mao-style work clothes in shades of grey or brown.
Some commentators have suggested that Kim Jong-un may have gone too far by replacing the Kim lapel badge with more feminine flowered brooches.
She was not present at a recent high-profile event for the 67th founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea on October 10 where Kim Jong-un and top officials were all in attendance the JoongAng Ilbo Daily reported.
The following day, the South Korean media cited a source who said Ri Sol-ju’s failure to wear any badges of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il had sparked criticism in the party’s upper ranks and as well as the army who deemed her behavior to bet “completely unacceptable, with repercussions to ensue”.
On her last public appearance former pop star Ri Sol-ju, wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, wore a stylish black trouser suit during a visit to the Taedonggang tile factory in Pyongyang.
Most residents of the city, the country’s capital, only ever wear drab colored Mao-style suits and North Korean women generally dress only in conservative skirts.
Ri Sol-ju’s appearance in the unconventional outfit comes just weeks after she was pictured at an event with what looked like a luxurious Dior evening pouch.
The appearance of Ri Sol-ju, who is thought to be in her 20s, was enough of a fashion statement to incite comment over the border in South Korea, the Daily Telegraph reported.