Kim Jong un’s Wife Ri Sol-ju is Pyongyang Fashion Icon

North Korea First Lady Ri Sol Ju

KCTV Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju Visits Rungna People′s Pleasure Ground

North Korea’s first lady Ri Sol-ju is the DPRK’s foremost fashionista, sporting looks that favor Chanel and often adorned with flower-shaped broaches, ribbons, polka dots, ruffles, and flashy accessories.

North Korean’s women are attempting to imitate Ri Sol-ju’s fashion sense and have made short skirts a common sight and Ri Sol-ju’s accessories are in short supply in Pyongyang department stores. Short skirts and outward signs of prosperity are somewhat taboo in the juche state.

North Korea’s first lady Ri Sol-ju apparently gives off the impression to reporters that she does not want to be controlled and her fashion sense expresses this sentiment. A defector who attended a private academy with her claims she was always one of the ‘elite children,’ or those afforded special access to items and luxuries beyond the average North Korean. This is in contrast to the vast numbers of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s citizens who dwell in crushing poverty, without access to daily necessities and largely ignorant of many of the conveniences of the modern world.

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Whether Ri Sol-ju will remain a prominent figure in DPRK state media is to be seen. Kim Jong-il’s first wife, Song Hye-rim, was initially quite prominent and bore him three children but later was allegedly abandoned. Kim Jong-un is often seen with his wife but she is not thought to play an active role in state politics. The more intimate family of the Kim family depicted on the Korean Central News Agency is in stark contrast to the often solitary depiction of the North Korea’s former leader Kim Jong-il. Kim Jong-il was rarely seen with other members of the Kim family and often depicted a monolithic presence in state media. With recent nuclear tests reported by Seoul and Pyongyang, the tensions on the Korean peninsula do not seem to be waning any time soon.

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[Chosun Ilbo]

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Originally published January 23, 2013.

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