North Korean first lady reappears in public after 4 months

Seoul, Feb 2 (EFE).- North Korean first lady Ri Sol-ju has reappeared in public after four months out of the public eye, during a performance with leader Kim Jong-un to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Kim and Ri, along with other top North Korean politburo officials, attended the event at the Mansudae Art Theater in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, state news agency KCNA reported Wednesday.

“When respected comrade Kim Jong-un appeared in the theater auditorium with his wife Ri Sol-ju amid welcome music, the audience erupted in applause and cheers of ‘Hooray!” it said.

It is the first time Ri has appeared in public since the 73rd anniversary of the country’s founding, accompanying Kim in September to visit the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, containing the remains of Kim Il-sung, the leader’s grandfather and North Korea’s founder. Ri’s father-in-law and former leader Kim Jong-il’s body also rests at the palace.

Tuesday’s performance began with the interpretation of the country’s anthem and folk songs and songs “famous for their patriotic themes.”

After the show ended, Kim and Ri went up on stage “to shake hands with the artists and congratulate them on a successful performance before taking a photo with them,” KCNA said.

Among the notable attendees to the event were also the other four members of the presidium of the politburo of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party, Choe Ryong-hae, Jo Yong-won, Kim Tok-hun and Pak Jong-chon.

The celebrations took place after Pyongyang’s intense arms activity in January, in which it carried out seven missile tests, the highest monthly number of launches of this type since Kim came to power in 2011. EFE


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