01:43 - Source: CNN
North Korean leader marries

Story highlights

NEW: Kim Jong Un and his wife attended the opening of a new theme park, state media reports

NEW: No details are given on when Kim and Ri Sol Ju were married

The presence of a woman by Kim Jong Un's side this month sparked speculation

Little is known about the youthful leader of the reclusive country

CNN —  

North Korea’s youthful leader, Kim Jong Un, has married a woman named Ri Sol Ju, according to a report by state news agency KCNA Wednesday.

The couple appeared together at the opening of the Rungna People’s Pleasure Ground in the capital, Pyongyang, the news agency said.

Kim and his wife toured the park in the company of local and international officials and watched dolphins perform stunts to music, KCNA said. The park, on the Taedong River, includes a dolphinarium, wading pool, fun fair and mini golf course, it said.

No details were given of when Kim and Ri were married, but she is referred to several times by the news agency as his wife.

Little is known about Kim, who became the third generation of his family to lead his reclusive country when he assumed power following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in December.

Kim Jong Il, known as “Dear Leader,” had ruled for 17 years after inheriting power from the country’s founding father, Kim Il Sung, the eternal president and “Great Leader.”

North Korea’s cult of personality surrounds Kim

Kim Jong Un was granted the title of “Supreme Leader.” His age is still a source of speculation, though it’s thought that he’s in his late 20s.

This month, there was much speculation about the identity of a young woman who was by his side during more than one official engagement.

On one occasion, she accompanied the young leader to a Pyongyang theater on a Friday night to watch a performance of North Korea’s Moranbong band. The display included a cast of Disney characters, although The Walt Disney Co. said their use was not authorized.

The same woman was seen on state TV two days later, walking a few paces behind Kim as he toured Kumsusan Palace in Pyongyang, and then she was shown standing to attention at Kim’s side as they and top military officials paid tribute to his grandfather.

Her appearance was a sufficiently unusual event to prompt newspaper headlines in neighboring South Korea.

What Kim’s ‘mystery woman’ says about North Korea

Analysts have watched North Korea closely for clues to any shift in direction since Kim Jong Un assumed power.

Kim Jong Un is shown with a young woman this month. It is not known if she is Ri Sol Ju.
AFP/Getty Images
Kim Jong Un is shown with a young woman this month. It is not known if she is Ri Sol Ju.

“He is the youngest head of state in the world,” analyst Patrick Chovanec said. “There’s still a lot of debate about how much power he has, whether other family members are in control or the military.”

In April, Kim gave his first televised speech since assuming the country’s leadership, when he addressed hundreds of troops and others in Pyongyang as part of a massive, orchestrated celebration marking 100 years since the birth of his grandfather.

He gave his second public speech in June, before tens of thousands of children in Pyongyang on the 66th anniversary of the Korean Children’s Union.

His father is believed to have made only one brief broadcast while in charge.

According to what little has been revealed about him, Kim Jong Un was educated partly in Switzerland, loves music and Western movies, and is a huge basketball fan. He is the youngest son of Kim Jong Il.

Shooting hoops for peace in North Korea

CNN’s Paula Hancocks and Christabelle Fombu contributed to this report.