This file picture taken on July 6, 2012 by North Korean official Korean Central News Agency and released on July 9 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C), accompanied by a young woman (L).
Photo by KNS/AFP/Getty Images.
UPDATE: Not only is Kim Jong-Un married, by some reports he's been married for a while.
CNN quotes one South Korean lawmaker, drawing from a closed-door meeting with intelligence officials, that Kim married then-23-year-old singer Ri in 2009. She grew up under ordinary circumstances in Pyongyang, moving to China to study singing after attending secondary school.
Ju allegedly traveled to South Korea in 2005 as a member of the North Korean cheering squad for the Asian Athletics Championships, where she would have rooted on her countrymen from the stands, twirling umbrellas and playing tambourines.
By some accounts, Kim first spotted Ju when she was singing in a performance, according to the BBC. So far, no reports have confirmed a rumor that North Korea’s first family has a child.
Meanwhile, Ju’s appearance, with her short hair and Western-style clothing, has prompted speculation that her husband may have a more liberal international outlook than his father.
Wednedsay, July 26: Kim Jong-Un's mystery woman is now his wife. We think. In any case, North Korea's leader is hitched, according to state-run media.
North Korean state news reported Wednesday that the country's leader was married to "Comrade Ri Sol-ju," showing footage of the woman visiting an amusement park with Kim. Ri Sol-ju is presumably the woman Kim's been spotted with in recent months—although South Korean media had previously identified the mystery woman as Hyon Song-wol. Both women are North Korean singers, the BBC explains.
As the New York Times notes, Kim is breaking with the traditional invisibility of North Korean first ladies by bringing his wife with him to official functions. When his dad Kim Jong-Il was in power, most North Koreans never saw the late leader's wife on television.
Meanwhile, the country's state media is participating in some good, old-fashioned mythology building by crediting Kim with the rescue of 60 flood victims in the northwestern province of Pyongan. As the AFP notes, North Korea's leaders are routinely given credit for benevolent acts.