North Korea's Kim Jong-Un now a father: Report
Pyongyang: The wife of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un has given birth to a baby, The Australian reported on Thursday.
Pictures aired by North Korean state media in mid-December had shown Kim and his wife Ri Sul-joo, apparently heavily pregnant, paying their respects at a memorial service for Kim Jong-il, his father and predecessor.
According to the report, Ri was pictured wearing traditional mourning clothing, but appeared to be pregnant.
However, recent images of her attending an official New Year's party showed her wearing a well-fitted two-piece skirt suit with no physical sign of pregnancy.
Meanwhile, South Korean television and newspapers ran before-and-after photos with speculative captions, reported The Australian.
"The bulging stomach has gone down ... has Ri Sol-Ju given birth?" asked the Dong-A Ilbo daily.
"Ri Sol-Ju with her tummy reduced in 11 days. Has she come out right after childbirth?" ran the caption in the Chosun Ilbo daily.
A South Korean government official, quoted by Yonhap news agency, said Ri "appeared to have already given birth, based on analysis of the TV images".
If the speculation is correct and the child is a boy, he is likely to be groomed to take over the dynastic regime that was founded by Kim's grandfather, Kim Il-sung, at the end of the Second World War, a report said.
Formerly the lead singer with the Ponchonbo Electronic Ensemble, Ri was only officially unveiled as Kim's wife in July, although she had previously been pictured accompanying the 'Young General' on his visits to state-run farms, military units and at official ceremonies.
(With Agency inputs)