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North Korean leader’s sister reappears after 47 days

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Kim Jong Un, Ri Sol Ju

 

By NewsGram Staff Writer

 

Kim Yo-jong, younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, reappeared in state media on Friday after a 47-day absence during which, according to South Korean experts, she may have given birth to a baby, Efe news agency reported.

In photographs disclosed by North Korea’s news agency KCNA, the 28-year-old woman was seen accompanying her brother on one of his many inspections.

Kim Yo-jong’s last public appearance was on April 12, when state media took pictures of her along with the “supreme leader” during an inspection of the construction site at Sunan airport’s second terminal in Pyongyang.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) had then said that Kim Yo-jong was pregnant and would give birth in May.

The NIS also said that Kim Jong-un’s sister could be married to a student from her alma mater, Kim Il-sung University, North Korea’s most prestigious university and where nine generations of the elite Communist regime have studied.

However, Chinese sources have suggested that Kim Yo-jong could be married to the son of Choe Ryong-hae, secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Kim Yo-jong, along with Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-chol, were all born to Ko Young-hee and late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, who died in December 2011.

North Korea’s insular regime goes to extreme lengths to conceal any information related to the Kim family.

For this reason, the only available data comes from photographs published by the country’s media and from external sources such as the NIS.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Face Mask of Kim Jong-un Stirs Controversy

Kim has led North Korea since the death of its former dictator, his father Kim Jong-il, in 2011

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Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un face mask stirs controversy.

A South Korean fashion and cosmetics firm has stirred controversy with a facial mask featuring Kim Jong-un prompting many stores to pull the product of the shelves.

The so-called “nuke masks” were created by 5149, a South Korean fashion and cosmetics company. It said it has sold more than 25,000 “unification moisture nuclear masks” since June, the BBC reported.

Many South Korean stores, though, halted the sales amid a public backlash and concerns over the masks’ legality.

In South Korea it is illegal to speak favourably of the North Korean government, though the law is rarely enforced.

Dozens of Koreans have posted pictures of themselves on social media with the masks, which cost 4,000 won, the BBC said.

Propaganda-style slogans claim the masks contain mineral water from Mount Paektu, the sacred, active volcano, which is the birthplace of Dangun, founder of the first Korean kingdom more than 4,000 years ago, according to Korean mythology.

“Personally, I don’t like merchandise promoting a certain political agenda,” Irene Kim, a South Korean skincare expert, told the South China Morning Post.

“A few years ago, North Korea was the largest threat to our country… Kim Jong-un was seen as a dictator and a tyrant who would stop at nothing to disrupt world peace, now he’s become the face of a popular face mask,” she added.

Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un.

The North Korean leader and his regime have been criticised by the UN for “systematic, widespread” human rights abuses.

Both North and South Korea are still technically at war, but leaders from both countries attended talks this year over denuclearisation.

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In an interview with the New York Times, 5149 CEO Kwak Hyeon-ju said she wanted the masks to celebrate the “once in a lifetime” Korean summits held earlier this year.

Kim has led North Korea since the death of its former dictator, his father Kim Jong-il, in 2011.

The country’s communist regime has been criticised by the UN and human rights groups for “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations”. (IANS)