16 Surprising Facts About Kim Jong-Un’s Wife Ri Sol-Ju

Ri Sol-Ju, the wife of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, is just another part of Kim’s life that has been kept largely under wraps. But with Kim taking a recent trip to China, more information has come out about his mysterious wife, including where she comes from, what her personality is like, and more surprising facts. She’s also been criticized for one specific thing (No. 13).

1. Her first official appearance was at Kim Jong Il’s funeral

People mourning the death of Kim Jong Il

People mourning the death of Kim Jong Il. | Claudiad/Getty Images

Although there wouldn’t be any details about the mystery woman until the following year, Ri’s first appearance at an official event was in 2011 when she attended the funeral for Kim Jong Il. Her sudden presence led to speculation about her identity. Some thought she was potentially one of Kim Jong Un’s sisters or another relative.

Next: The mystery woman is finally revealed.

2. Her identity was kept secret until 2012

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol-Ju in China

It wasn’t revealed who she was until 2012. | AFP/Getty Images

Ri is still fairly new to Kim’s family and the empire. Although there was speculation that Kim had a wife, it was not revealed by North Korean media until 2012. According to Business Insider, the media nonchalantly expressed in a broadcast that Kim had attended an amusement park opening “with his wife, Comrade Ri Sol-Ju.”

Next: Nobody knows when this really happened. 

3. No one knows when she married Kim Jong Un

No one knows when they got married. | AFP/Getty Images

Although we became aware of Ri in 2012, we cannot confirm when she and Kim married. Some media outlets have reported the couple wed in 2009. Others say they met at a classical music concert in 2010. Kim has never commented on his wedding date, and there are few details about the wedding.

Next: Ri appeared very infrequently until recently. 

4. She was kept out of the spotlight for years

She’s mostly been out of the spotlight. | STR/Getty Images

In North Korea, women are second to men. And Kim already keeps his personal life far out the spotlight, so it’s no surprise that his wife was never getting any of the media attention. If anything, the only reason she was ever in the media is because people were simply wondering who she is and what she does.

Next: You won’t believe how young she is. 

5. She allegedly hasn’t even turned 30

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol-Ju in China

She may have been a teen when they met. | AFP/Getty Images

Rumor has it that Ri was born on September 28, 1989. If she and Kim actually met in 2009, it could mean that Ri was still a teenager when the two were introduced. According to some reports, Kim’s marriage to Ri was arranged by his father, so they likely did not date for long. Since the actual wedding date is unknown, it’s possible that Ri might have even been a teenager when the couple got married.

Next: Her pregnancies result in an absence from the public. 

6. She stays out of the public eye when she’s pregnant

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol-Ju

Her pregnancy is only noted because of her absence. | AFP/Getty Images

We’ve never actually known when Ri was experiencing a pregnancy. We can only assume Ri’s pregnancies because of her absence from public events. Over the years, there have been several instances where Ri stays out of the public for months at a time. This has lead the media to believe Ri and Kim have a few children, but nothing has ever been confirmed by the Kim family.

Next: A professional athlete leaked a big secret. 

7. A former NBA player leaked that Ri had a second child

Dennis Rodman leaving North Korea

He has become an odd friend to the dictator’s family. | Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

Dennis Rodman, the former NBA player who is often criticized for his friendship with Kim Jong Un, revealed in an interview that Ri and Kim had recently had a second child. “I held their baby, Ju Ae, and spoke with Ms. Ri as well,” he said in the interview. Until then, the U.S. had suspected that Kim and Ri had a child but were unaware that there was a new baby in the family.

Next: The public believes she has this many children. 

8. The public believes she is now a mother of three

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol-Ju

They think she has three children. | AFP/Getty Images

Very little is known about the Kim family’s children, but it’s believed there are three of them. Rodman gave it away that Kim had two kids, and in 2017, Ri was out of the public eye for quite some time. This lead many people to believe that she was pregnant with their third child. Although we don’t know the exact ages or genders of the children, the oldest is thought to be the son that will one day succeed Kim.

Next: Ri comes from a good family. 

9. Her parents were elite and educated

Her parents were well educated. | AFP/Stringer/Getty Images

Ri was brought up in an elite household. According to Business Insider, her father was a professor and her mother was a doctor. Her father might have also been in North Korea’s Air Force. But it is unknown what Ri’s home life was like and whether or not she had any siblings.

Next: She studied this in China. 

10. She studied singing in China

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol-Ju

She studied music and singing. | AFP/Getty Images

Ri was very into music when she was young, and it is believed that she once studied singing in China. As of 2010, she was a member of North Korea’s Unhasu Orchestra. There have been rumors that North Korea executed members of the Unhasu Orchestra. But that is only speculation, and it was supposedly because of a scandal that was unrelated to Kim’s wife’s role in the orchestra.

Next: She visited South Korea once, years ago. 

11. She visited South Korea in 2005 as a cheerleader

North Korean cheer team members wave their national flags during the World Students Games opening ceremony in Daegu in 2003

Kim Jong Un was attracted to her because of her cheer past. | Kim Jae-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images

Apparently, Ri was as much into cheerleading as she was singing. In 2005, she attended the Asian Athletics Championship in South Korea as one of North Korea’s cheerleaders (similar to the cheerleaders seen at the 2018 Winter Olympics). Supposedly, her time as a cheerleader made her more desirable to Kim for marriage.

Next: People noticed this when Ri went with Kim to China. 

12. Her outfits during a visit to China were highly regarded

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol-Ju in China with President Xi Jinping

Her outfits were praised by the public. | AFP/Getty Images

In early 2018, Kim and Ri took a long-anticipated trip to China, and Ri was photographed several times. Social media users in China quickly took to her fashionable outfits and even compared her to several Korean celebrities. Hong Kong fashion designers referred to her style as “subtle” but noted that she was not overly conservative. Some social media users in China compared her to China’s first lady. Most of the comments ended up being censored by the government.

Next: She’s been spotted with a few of these. 

13. She’s been spotted with expensive handbags

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol-Ju

She’s been spotted with some pricey bags. | AFP/Getty Images

Ri is no stranger to Western fashion. Business Insider has reported that she’s been spotted with handbags from Chanel and Dior. Although her taste in fashion was regarded as subtle during her China visit, she clearly is still familiar with all the latest brands. The designer labels on Ri’s outfits during her China visit were not released.

Next: Ri has been criticized for this. 

14. And criticized for her expensive taste

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol-Ju in China with President Xi Jinping

She’s been criticized for the expensive taste while the people are starving. | AFP/Getty Images

Eyebrows have been raised over Ri’s spending habits because so many North Koreans are hungry and extremely poor. But the Kim family lives in luxury while millions of North Koreans are starving. Purchasing such expensive handbags only adds to the horrible disregard the Kim family has for the suffering of their own people.

Next: Social media users said Ri showed this during her visit to China. 

15. Social media users have praised Ri’s ‘powerful presence’

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol-Ju in China with President Xi Jinping

China’s public loved her. | AFP/Getty Images

Besides Ri’s fashion choice, China’s social media users also praised her “powerful presence.” This is especially interesting because women in North Korea are not typically regarded as powerful. Business Insider reported that they referred to her as beautiful and amiable, displaying a manner that is far kinder than what her husband is known for.

Next: Here’s what might be next for Ri. 

16. A meeting between Ri and the U.S. could come soon

Melania Trump and Donald Trump arrive in Israel

Maybe she’ll meet Melania soon. | Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Right now, the few details we have about Ri have come from outside sources. But with the tension finally starting to simmer between Kim and President Trump, it’s possible that a meeting between Ri and the U.S. might come sooner rather than later. If that’s the case, hopefully even more details about Kim’s mysterious wife will soon be realized.

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