N Korea's Kim got married in 2009: Report

2012-07-26 11:06


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Seoul - North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un got married in 2009 and his wife once visited South Korea, a Seoul lawmaker said on Thursday.

Legislator Jung Chung-Rai said he was citing information given to a closed parliamentary session by the South's National Intelligence Service (NIS).

The North's state media late on Wednesday announced the marriage for the first time but gave no details of Kim's wife Ri Sol-Ju.

Jung, quoted by Yonhap news agency, cited the NIS as telling legislators that Kim's wife was born in 1989 and had studied singing in China.

South Korean media reports also said Ri had been a singer and may have caught Kim's eye during a performance.

Ri visited Incheon west of Seoul in September 2005 as a member of the North's cheering squad for the Asian Athletics Championships, NIS officials were quoted by Jung as saying.

16 000 leaflets

On the political front meanwhile, North Korea has dropped thousands of leaflets attacking South Korea's government across their shared border for the first time in 12 years, the South's defence ministry said on Thursday.

South Korean soldiers collected 16 000 leaflets floated by the North across the heavily-fortified frontier over five days from 21 July, the ministry said.

The leaflets contain criticism of President Lee Myung-bak's administration and of its alleged plot to destroy a statue of the North's late leader, the ministry said.

"North Korea used balloons to send the leaflets, which were found scattered in border areas," a ministry official said.

It is the first time North Korea has dropped such leaflets since promising not to slander Seoul at a landmark 2000 summit, he said.

In 2004 the two sides agreed to switch off loudspeakers along the border, as part of a deal to halt all official-level cross-border propaganda.

Tension high

Relations between the neighbours have sharply worsened since Lee scrapped an aid and engagement policy in 2008.

Tensions remain high after the North's failed rocket launch in April, seen by the United States and its allies as an attempted ballistic missile test.

Pyongyang has also threatened attacks on Lee's government and conservative media for perceived insults to its regime.

Last week a defector who returned to the North after living in the South claimed that Seoul agents had promised him handsome rewards if he went back to his homeland and blew up a statue of Kim Il-Sung.

Jon Yong-Chol told a Pyongyang press conference he had been recruited for the mission after settling in the South. Seoul's intelligence agency denied the allegation.

The South's military resumed floating anti-Pyongyang leaflets in late 2010 after the North shelled a border island and killed four South Koreans.

The military propaganda balloon launches were suspended a year later, but South Korean activists continue to regularly drop anti-Pyongyang leaflets.

The North, which tightly controls news from outside, has angrily responded to the leaflet launches and threatened to fire across the border to stop them.

Read more on:    kim jong-un  |  lee myung-bak  |  north korea  |  south korea

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