North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju have been rarely seen together in public. While photos of Kim keeps surfacing, with the recent image released by local media, showing the 33-year-old inspecting what is said to a hydrogen bomb, his wife has always avoided the public eye.
Ri made her first public appearance in over seven months in December. She was last seen in public in December 2016 at an air combat training competition. Most recently, Ri made headlines when South Korean newspaper Donga Ilbo reported, citing South Korea's national intelligence service, that she may have given birth to a third child.
While it is unlikely for North Koreans to have more than two children, Kim may have been pressurized to have a third child with Ri if their first two children were girls. The gender of Kim's children are unknown, but according to reports, Ri gave birth to their first child in 2010 and the second in 2013.
Questions about Ri's whereabouts started to make rounds when she disappeared for months after her public appearance on March 28, 2016, some saying she may be pregnant. However, her late 2016 appearance gave no such hint.
The focus of the world moved to Kim on Sunday after North Korea announced that it tested a hydrogen bomb so small that it can fit inside an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. The announcement came after Japan said Pyongyang may have conducted a sixth nuclear test as an explosion of 6.3-magnitude was recorded by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
North Korea's growing nuclear prowess has been condemned and despite President Donald Trump threatening "fire and fury" against the reclusive nation, Kim does not seem to have any plans to back down.
Here are 10 facts that we know about Kim's wife despite all the mystery surrounding her life.
1. Ri was born on Sept. 28, 1989, in Chongjin, the third largest city in North Korea.
2. Ri was a former member of the country’s Unhasu orchestra and had performed for Kim in 2010, according to South Korean media.
3. She reportedly attended the Geumsung 2 Middle School in Pyongyang.
4. Her mother is reportedly the head of the gynecology department at a local hospital, while Ri herself is a science graduate student.
5. Breaking the North Korea tradition, Kim and Ri were first pictured together in 2012. Neither his father Kim Jong Il nor his grandfather Kim Il-sung was ever pictured with their partners in public.
6. In 2013, rumors surfaced that Ri was expecting a second child after photos emerged showing her wearing loose-fitting clothes.
7. Ri reportedly gave birth to a baby girl in 2013, according to former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who returned from a trip to North Korea in 2013. He said that the girl’s name was Ju-ae.
8. Ri is best known for her love of luxury goods, according to media reports, and was once spotted carrying a handbag by Dior worth $1,594.
9. She appeared alongside Kim 18 times in 2012, 22 times in 2013 and 15 times in 2014, Yonhap News Agency reported but added that appearances reduced subsequently. She spent long periods out of the public view in 2015 and 2016.
10. Kim’s sister Kim Yo Jong is believed to be a more important figure in North Korea than Ri.