North Korea's Kim Spotted With Mystery Woman

Speculation swirls whether woman is Kim Jong Un's sister, wife
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2012 4:03 AM CDT
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un clapping as he watches a concert in Pyongyang last Friday. But people are wondering who is the woman on Kim's right who has been seen with him several times.   (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)
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(Newser) – North Korea-watchers are wondering who the young woman who has been spotted at Kim Jong Un's side recently is. She could be his younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, or perhaps his wife—it's not known whether Kim is married—but whoever she is, she was seen next to the supreme leader at a ceremony honoring North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung on Sunday and at the Disney-character filled concert on Friday, reports the BBC.

The woman's identity may never be known, Andrei Lankov, the author of several books on North Korea, tells CNN. "Everything related to Kim Jong Il's children is a deadly secret. No sane North Korean who knows it would share this out for very special reasons," he says. It's very rare for a North Korean leader to have a female companion during an official engagement, Lankov notes, suggesting that the mystery woman may be part of a campaign to portray Kim as "much more approachable, human-like, and soft on people" than his father.

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