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N.K. leader's wife appears in state media after 4-month absence

All Headlines 10:04 October 23, 2019

SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- The wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has appeared in state media reports following an approximate four-month absence from public view.

Ri Sol-ju was seen in photos released on Wednesday by the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) accompanying Kim on his "field guidance" trip to the Mount Kumgang resort on the country's scenic east coast.

It was her first reported public activity since June, though her name was not mentioned among those who followed Kim on his trip to the mountain.

She was last seen in public when Chinese President Xi Jinping made his first visit to Pyongyang on June 20 and 21. After that, she disappeared from state media reports for 122 days, her husband making public appearances without her.

Ri's relatively long disappearance from state media was considered unusual. Since state media began referring to her as "first lady" last year instead of "comrade," she was usually mentioned in media reports at least once a month.

During her absence, Kim's younger sister Kim Yo-jong appeared to have filled in for her, accompanying the leader at major events.

She was among those accompanying Kim on his recent horseback ride at Mount Paekdu, considered as one of the country's most sacred mountains. She was also seen with Kim on the Mount Kumgang trip.

This photo released by the Korean Central News Agency on Oct. 23, 2019 shows Ri Sol-ju (L) following her husband, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, on his trip to Mount Kumgang on the country's east coast. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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