If North Korea had a Page Six, they'd be all over the news that Kim Jong Un has been spotted twice now with an unidentified lady friend by his side and South Korean media—and maybe a few would be Mrs. Kim Jong Un's—are desperate for an answer: Is she his wife or sister?
Ever since state television showed images of Kim sitting next to a short-haired woman at a performance Friday and then Kim showed up the next day with what appeared to be the same woman to a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of his grandfather's death, the woman has been front page news in South Korea, according to the AP. We typically save a memorial for our dead grandfather for the third or fourth date, but, hey, you can move faster when you're in charge of a country.
Then again, the Korea Times and the Chosun Ilbo are suggesting this woman could actually be Kim's elusive sister, Kim Yo-jong. "Analysts say it would be natural for a sibling of the leader to be involved in political affairs given that the North’s system relies heavily on the ruling Kim family. Kim Jong-il’s sister, Kim Kyong-hui, long served as a close aid and is doing the same for the current leader," Korea Times' Kim Young-jin writes. If it is Kim Yo-jong, her appearance at these events offers an interesting glimpse at a woman we don't know much about. But the press reports still allow that some are speculating she's something more romantic with "one local daily saying she was a state singer rumored to be his partner." Whoever she turns out to be, we can imagine that if he's keeping up with the gossip, Kim is not so happy about people speculating that his sister/wife is is wife/sister.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.