Kim Jong-un's Wife Gets New Honorific Title
The North Korean regime is raising the profile of leader Kim Jong-un's wife Ri Sol-ju, giving her a new honorific title and showcasing more of her public activities.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency reported Saturday that Ri attended a performance of "Giselle" by the visiting National Ballet of China along with Workers Party officials but without her husband.
KCNA said "revered first lady" Ri Sol-ju attended the performance with apparatchiks Choe Ryong-hae, Kim Yo-jong, Kim Yong-chol and Ri Su-yong.
The normal designation has been "comrade." The last time the state media used "revered first lady" was in 1974, referring to nation founder Kim Il-sung's wife Kim Song-ae.
A researcher at a state-run think tank here said, "Ri Sol-ju is playing a suitable role in repackaging Kim Jong-un as the leader of a normal nation. This sets her up to play the role of first lady in summits with South Korea and the U.S."
Meanwhile, North Korea rolled out the red carpet for a 200-member Chinese delegation led by Song Tao, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department, who arrived in Pyongyang on Friday to mark the 106th birthday of Kim Il-sung.
Kim Jong-un met Song twice including for a banquet, while his sister Kim Yo-jong greeted the Chinese diplomat at the airport.