The Secrets Behind Kim Jong Un’s Marriage, Revealed

You may see North Korea’s Kim Jong Un everywhere on the news, but someone special in his life is often missing from the limelight. Ri Sol Ju is the country’s first lady, making her somewhat of a public figure by default. But little is known about her. Details about her family, her life before marriage, and even her real name are all hotly debated.

Let’s look at what we know (or think we know) about Ri and her ultra-secretive marriage to Kim Jong Un (No. 9 discusses who set them up). But first, let’s learn about the strict wedding traditions even Kim and Ri had to follow.

1. Every North Korean, including Kim and Ri, must follow these rigid wedding guidelines

Kim Jong Un sits with students.

Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri sit with students. | STR/AFP/Getty Images

We know little about Kim and Ri’s secretive wedding, but we’re sure it wasn’t like wedding receptions in the U.S. The North Korean government forbids couples from marrying on April 15 and February 16, the birthdays of Kim’s father, Kim Il-sung, and grandfather, Kim Jong-il.

The Guardian notes it’s not your special day, as it’s often overseen by the government. Newlyweds bring flowers to the statue of Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s supreme leader. Their dress is traditional, the couple typically takes photos in front of the statue as a sign of respect, and there’s absolutely no such thing as a honeymoon.

Next: You can marry in North Korea — but you can’t date.

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