Thu, July 26, 2012
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DPRK leader Kim Jong Un married: state media

2012-07-25 12:45:27 GMT2012-07-25 20:45:27(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

This photo released on July 25, 2012 by KCNA, State media of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), shows Kim Jong Un, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju, inspects an amusement park in Pyongyang, capital of DPRK. The official KCNA news agency confirmed Wednesday that top leader Kim Jong Un has been married. (Xinhua/KCNA)

This photo released on July 25, 2012 by KCNA, State media of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), shows Kim Jong Un, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju, inspects an amusement park in Pyongyang, capital of DPRK. The official KCNA news agency confirmed Wednesday that top leader Kim Jong Un has been married. (Xinhua/KCNA)

This photo released on July 25, 2012 by KCNA, State media of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), shows Kim Jong Un, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju, inspects an amusement park in Pyongyang, capital of DPRK. The official KCNA news agency confirmed Wednesday that top leader Kim Jong Un has been married. (Xinhua/KCNA)

This photo released on July 25, 2012 by KCNA, State media of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), shows Kim Jong Un, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju, inspects an amusement park in Pyongyang, capital of DPRK. The official KCNA news agency confirmed Wednesday that top leader Kim Jong Un has been married. (Xinhua/KCNA)

PYONGYANG, July 25 (Xinhua) -- State media of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) confirmed Wednesday that top leader Kim Jong Un has been married.

"Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju were present at the ceremony" marking the completion of an amusement park in Pyongyang, the official KCNA news agency said.

"All the participants enthusiastically welcomed them, loudly shouting 'Hurrah!'" the report added.

"Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju toured the pleasure ground together with senior party, state and army officials, diplomatic envoys, representatives of international organizations and charge d'affaires ad interims of foreign missions here and their wives," it said.

The report marks the first reference by DPRK state media to Kim's marital status, which has been under speculation since he took power after his father, Kim Jong Il, died last December.

Earlier this month, Ri, about whom official information is scarce, was pictured accompanying Kim at a performance and during a visit to a local kindergarten, generating rumors regarding her status.

South Korean observers say that the recent appearances of the two were meant to cultivate a new image of the DPRK leader and demonstrate the stability of the country.

Last week, Kim was awarded the title of marshal of the DPRK, and Hyon Yong Chol, a newly promoted vice marshal of the Korean People's Army (KPA), replaced Ri Yong Ho as chief of the general staff of the KPA.

The replacement came days after the KCNA announced that Ri Yong Ho, who was also a vice marshal, had been "relieved of all posts due to his illness."

Before the announcement, Ri Yong Ho was also a member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and vice chairman of the WPK Central Military Commission.

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