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US extends good wishes to N Korea`s first couple

Last Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 10:13

Washington: The United States administration has extended its good wishes to North Korea`s first couple well after the secretive nation announced that new leader Kim Jong Un is married.

The news was carried in a state TV news report that the mystery woman seen beside the 20-something leader in recent weeks is his wife, "comrade Ri Sol Ju."

Asked about it, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that the US "would always wish any kind of newly-weds well as they embark" although it`s not clear when the couple got married.

The US and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations, and Nuland said, "I don`t think we were invited to the wedding."

She added that the US was more concerned about North Korea`s people and urged the leadership to open up the country.

North Korean state media yesterday reported that Kim Jong Un to attending the opening of an amusement park with his wife, "Comrade Ri Sol-ju".
There had been much speculation about Kim`s private life in recent weeks when an unidentified woman was pictured attending events with him.

Kim Jong-un took over as leader of the country after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in December last year.

The eight minute report, which mentioned Ri, was broadcast on North Korean radio Wednesday.

There is a North Korean singer by the name of Ri Sol-ju but it has not been confirmed whether Kim`s wife is the same woman, a BBC report said.
Ri is thought to be the same "mystery woman" who accompanied Kim to several events in recent weeks and whose Western dress and hairstyle led some to speculate on the influence of Kim`s brief European education.

Analysts have been watching Kim and his inner circle for clues as to the direction in which they will take the isolated state.

Kim Jong-un became leader of the North Korean Workers` Party and head of state following the death of his father Kim Jong-il in December 2011.


First Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 10:12

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