Is North Korea’s First Lady pregnant?
Washington: Rumours and speculations are swirling across North Korea and neighbouring countries that the First Lady of the world's most reclusive nation is pregnant.
Ri Sol Ju, the wife of young leader Kim Jong Un, had not been seen in public for around two months, till a recent photo emerged showing her attending a function.
A photo released by the state-run news agency KCNA shows her back in public and wearing a long coat that could be hiding a bump, CNN reports.
The South Korean media has raised speculation on whether Sol Ju is pregnant or whether she was kept out of the public eye as a disciplinary measure for a perceived slight.
Local media has claimed she may have fallen out of favour for not wearing a lapel pin of the former leaders, a requirement for adult North Koreans.
Ri was recently pictured watching a football match and attending a musical concert with her husband on Monday to mark the 60th anniversary of the Kim Il Sung Military University.
“Rumours first came out from officials who attended the same event,” said Kim Yong-hoon, head of the North Korean desk at Daily NK, an online newspaper based in Seoul that focuses on North Korea.
“They started questioning and speculating if she was pregnant and it has spread throughout the country and that’s how we heard about the rumours,” Kim added.