Ro Sol Ju, who had not been seen since January 2020, pictured with her husband at a concert.
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, joining her husband at a concert during one of the most big country vacation.
The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper published photos of the couple at the event to mark the birthday of Kim’s late father and former leader Kim Jong Il.
Ri, who often accompanied Kim to key public events, had not been seen since January last year when she was pictured at an event for the Lunar New Year holiday, fueling speculation about her health and a potential pregnancy.
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) told lawmakers on Tuesday that Ri appeared to have refrained from outside activities to reduce the risk of coronavirus, but that he was “playing well with his children.”
The NIS believes Ri and Kim have three children, but little is known about them.
North Korea has not confirmed any cases of COVID-19, but the NIS said an outbreak could not be ruled out due to the country’s close ties with China, where the virus first emerged. Pyongyang closed its border early last year.
Ri and Kim smiled as they watched the concert at the Mansudae Art Theater in the capital city of Pyongyang, surrounded by elderly men. Unlike several previous events, no one in the photographs was wearing a mask and no social distancing measures appeared to be in effect.
The ruling Workers’ Party newspaper also reported that Kim went to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, which houses the embalmed bodies of her father and grandfather, to lay wreaths for the anniversary, called the Shining Star Day.