Kim tours cos­met­ics plant with wife, sis­ter

The Nation - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

NORTH KOREAN LEADER Kim Jong-un took his stylish wife and pow­er­ful sis­ter to a make-up plant for a “field guid­ance trip” amid the coun­try’s nu­clear stand-off with the United States.

Dur­ing a visit to the Py­ongyang Cos­met­ics Fac­tory in the cap­i­tal, Kim hailed its “world-level” prod­ucts that re­alised “the dream of the women who want to be more beau­ti­ful”, the of­fi­cial Korean Cen­tral News Agency ( KCNA) re­ported.

Kim was ac­com­pa­nied by Kim Yo-jong, his younger sis­ter and a se­nior mem­ber of the rul­ing Work­ers’Party, it said, with pho­tos show­ing Kim’s wife Ri Sol-ju fol­low­ing him at the fac­tory in a flo­ral pat­tern dress. The two are seen as the most pow­er­ful women in the iso­lated, deeply pa­tri­ar­chal na­tion.

They have of­ten ac­com­pa­nied Kim to of­fi­cial events since he took power in 2011, in a break from the past when for­mer lead­ers’ spouses or sis­ters rarely made pub­lic ap­pear­ances.

Ri, a for­mer star singer also known for her affin­ity for lux­ury fash­ion, is known to have three chil­dren with Kim.

Yo-jong, be­lieved to be in her 20s, was pro­moted ear­lier this month to be an al­ter­nate mem­ber of the party’s pow­er­ful polit­buro – the de­ci­sion-mak­ing body presided over by her brother.

Known to be han­dling the party’s pro­pa­ganda op­er­a­tions, Yo-jong has been seen ac­com­pa­ny­ing Kim closely and in a ca­sual man­ner – rare among the coun­try’s top of­fi­cials – at high-pro­file pub­lic events.

Both Kims were born to the late ruler Kim Jong-il and his third part­ner Ko Yong-hui, a for­mer dancer.

At the fac­tory they viewed a mo­saic of their fa­ther en­ti­tled “To Pro­vide Our Peo­ple with Bet­ter Cos­met­ics”, KCNA re­ported on Sun­day.

Ten­sions have been high on the penin­sula, with the North con­duct­ing its sixth nu­clear test in Septem­ber and launch­ing mul­ti­ple mis­siles ca­pa­ble of reach­ing the main­land of its “im­pe­ri­al­ist en­emy” the United States.

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