The Sideshow

Speculations swirl about ‘missing’ North Korean first lady

The Sideshow

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju, right, waves to the crowd as they inspect …

The lack of public appearances in more than a month by the first lady of North Korea has raised speculation about her fate.

Ri Sol Ju, a singer who married North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, customarily has been pictured with her husband during visits to military units, farms,  and at official ceremonies, the Telegraph reports. But word out of South Korean media now says Ri has not been seen in public for more than 40 days.

One thought is that the young bride is pregnant and does not yet want it made public, the Daily Mail reports.

The Daily Mail notes that Ri did not join her husband during a roller coaster ride in July at the opening of the Reungra People's Resort in Pyongyang.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, front left, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju, who is wearing a required lapel …

Media outlet reports that during a recent visit to deliver gifts to renters at some newly renovated apartments "there was a glimpse of Ri Sol Ju washing a cup in the kitchen, and it seemed as though her stomach was protruding more than usual."

Another bit of speculation is that Ri has fallen out of favor by some top members of the Communist Party in North Korea.

This stems from the fact that recent photos show Ri without a lapel pin that all adult North Koreans are required to wear. The pin features the face of Kim Il Sung, founder of the nation, according to the Telegraph.

Some reports say that the fashionable Ri even wears an ornate brooch in place of the red, flag shaped pin.

Ri may also have caused consternation from the ruling party as she is often seen in outfits that are in stark contrast to the drab, Mao-like tops and baggy pants often worn by more traditional North Korean women, according to the Telegraph.

So will it be revealed she's pregnant? Or will she dress more traditionally? Or don the official Kim pin?

Whatever the case, hopefully Ri's next appearance will shed light on her recent absence from the public spotlight.

At the most recent ruling party celebrations - Kim Jong Un appeared solo:

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