The Straits Times
Published on Jan 03, 2013

An heir for North Korea's Kim Jong Un?


SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea's next dynastic succession may have been secured, with new television images of leader Kim Jong Un's wife suggesting that Pyongyang's first lady recently gave birth.

When state tv showed Ms Ri Sol Ju attending a memorial service for her husband's late father Kim Jong Il in mid-December, she appeared heavily pregnant with her loose-fit traditional dress barely hiding a swollen belly.

But more 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.

Speculation was fuelled by the official performance, which included an all-woman band singing a version of the Christmas favourite "When a Child is Born" made popular by Johnny Mathis.