N. Korea TV confirms leader Kim is married: Seoul
SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (2nd L) and an unidentified woman visit the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground, which is nearing completion, in Pyongyang in this undated picture released by the North's KCNA on July 25, 2012. REUTERS/KCNANorth Korean state television Wednesday confirmed that its new leader Kim Jong-Un is married and named his wife as Ri Sol-Ju.
The television reported that Kim and Ri took part in a ceremony marking completion of a Pyongyang amusement park.
"Marshal Kim Jong-Un took part in the opening ceremony of Nungra People's Amusement Park with his wife, Comrade Ri Sol-Ju," it reported.
South Korea's unification ministry said it appeared that Ri was the woman who has been pictured several times at Kim's side at public events in recent weeks.
Photos and film footage of the smartly dressed woman in her twenties had sparked speculation as to her identity.
Kim, believed to be aged in his late twenties, took over the nuclear-armed nation when his father Kim Jong-Il died last December. But the secretive state had previously released no details of his private life. The short-haired woman was first shown with Jong-Un during a concert in Pyongyang on July 5. She was seen walking next to the leader on July 8 when he visited the mausoleum of his grandfather Kim Il-Sung.
On July 24, photos aired by state television showed her standing close to the new leader during a visit to a kindergarten.
With other officials staying a few steps behind the pair, the woman was seen smiling while standing immediately behind or next to Jong-Un as he hugged and talked to children.