North Korea’s first lady Ri Sol Ju seen for first time this year
2:19 PM EDT, Sun May 3, 2015
A jovial Kim Jong Un is seen clapping at a soccer match, alongside his wife Ri Sol Ju. It's the first time North Korea's first lady has been seen in public since December, 2014. It's unclear what they were cheering; it may have been the game, or a display of model gliders provided by the Pyongyang Air Club during half-time.
A more sombre moment at the event, which occurred Monday, April 13, at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang, according to North Korean state news agency KCNA.
The match pitted Sonbong Team against Hwoebul Team, with Sonbong winning 3-1. According to KCNA, "players of both teams gave fullest play to their spiritual, physical and technical abilities, showing spectacular scenes." Spectators can be seen packing the stands.
KCNA provided a list of officials who watched the match. They included Choe Ryong Hae, Choe Thae Bok, Kim Yang Gon, Kwak Pom Gi, Kim Phyong Hae and members of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission. Youth, students and "working citizens" also watched from the stands.
Before Monday's football match, North Korea's first lady hadn't been seen since this photo was released on December 17, 2014. Here, she is seen accompanying Kim to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on the third anniversary of death of his father, former leader Kim Jong Il.
KCNA via AFP/Getty Images
A week earlier, North Korea's most powerful couple attended a performance in Pyongyang's Cultural Hall, by families of members of the Korean People's Army (KPA) units.
KCNA via AP/Getty Images
Ri was also seen by her husband's side in an image released in May, 2013, at a performance by the Song and Dance Ensemble of the Korean People's Internal Security Forces in Pyongyang.
Ri first appeared alongside Kim in an image released in July 2012. They were seen watching a performance of the Moranbong band in Pyongyang. The same month North Korean state television confirmed that Kim and Ri were married, setting off a flurry of speculation about who she was, how long they'd been married and whether their union had produced any children.