Kim takes wife to cos­met­ics plant

The cou­ple was ac­com­pa­nied to the fac­tory by the North Korean leader’s sis­ter, Kim Yo-jong

Gulf News - - Asia / Philippines -

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 stand­off with the US.

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 KCNA news agency 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.

Dif­fer­ent styles

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 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 de­ci­sion­mak­ing body presided over by her brother.

Known to be han­dling the party’s pro­pa­ganda op­er­a­tions, Yo-jong has been seen ac­com­pa­ny­ing Kim closely North At­lantic Treaty Or­gan­i­sa­tion (Nato) chief Jens Stoltenberg called North Ko­rea a “global threat”, yes­ter­day, and said he backed tighter sanc­tions against it dur­ing a visit to Ja­pan, which has been tar­geted by Py­ongyang’s provo­ca­tions.

Stoltenberg was in Tokyo to meet Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe and other se­nior of­fi­cials.

He said in a speech to a group of se­cu­rity ex­perts and de­fence of­fi­cials, “It [North Ko­rea] is re­ally dan­ger­ous; it poses a di­rect threat to coun­tries in this re­gion [in­clud­ing] Ja­pan, but it is also a global threat,” he added.

Stoltenberg has stressed that Wash­ing­ton had the right to de­fend it­self and its al­lies but called for greater diplo­matic ef­forts. 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.

The Kim fam­ily has ruled the im­pov­er­ished but nu­clear-armed state with an iron fist through three gen­er­a­tions since the na­tion was es­tab­lished in 1948.

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 “en­emy” the US.

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