Kim's wife Ri Sol-ju becomes 'fashion muse' for North Koreans

Kim's wife Ri Sol-ju becomes 'fashion muse' for North Koreans
PHOTO: AFP

Ri Sol-ju, the wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, upheld an overwhelming presence on the carpet leading to the Peace House in the South's side of the truce village of Panmunjeom on Friday.

Friday's historic summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean counterpart Kim marked not only the first time the two leaders met, but also the first meeting for the two first ladies.

Ri arrived at the Peace House in Panmunjeom on Friday for the banquet in an apricot two-piece dress without any accessories. All eyes were on Ri's simple yet elegant fashion choice for the night as she got out of the Mercedez-Benz S600 Pullman Guard luxury limousine.


Photo: AFP

South Korea's first lady Kim Jung-sook, who wore a light blue dress coat, greeted Ri warmly.

The two first ladies' wardrobes complemented one another with local media outlets offering the interpretation that Ri's colour choice symbolizes the "coming of spring" or "peace" on the Korean Peninsula.

Ri did not wear the brooch that she has frequently worn to past events, and instead carried a black clutch and had her hair neatly tied back.

Making her first appearance in North Korean media outlets in July of 2012, Ri grabbed the public's attention with her notable fashion sense. In the past, she was reportedly seen wearing darker shades in public, but her more recent outfits take on a brighter tone.

In early March, in a pastel pink dress, Ri accompanied Kim Jong-un to the dinner event hosting Seoul's National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong and other special envoys in Pyongyang.

Kim Jong-un makes rare appearance with wife in outing to cosmetics factory

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    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been spotted in public for the first time in months - this time with his wife, Ri Sol-ju.

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    The pair had made a trip to a cosmetics factory in North Korea, according to the BBC.

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    He was photographed browsing the skincare products in the factory with a big smile on his face.

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    These pictures were released through the reclusive state's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Oct 29.

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    He was said to be inspecting the Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory. The communist leader reportedly encouraged North Korean women "to be more beautiful".

Media outlets also showered Ri with compliments for her outstanding wardrobe choices -- a gold two-piece dress, bright pale green skirt and white long jacket and a rose-patterned white dress -- when she accompanied Kim Jong-un on his trip to China in late March.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un meets China's Xi Jinping on first foreign trip

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    North Korea's Kim Jong Un has made his first ever foreign trip as leader to meet China's president, vowing he is "committed to denuclearisation" and willing to hold summits with the South and the US.

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    The secretive visit was confirmed Wednesday by Chinese and North Korean state media which said Kim was treated to a lavish stay in a show of unity after relations were battered by Beijing's support of UN sanctions against Pyongyang.

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    Kim had not met China's President Xi Jinping since taking over after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011.

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    Analysts said Xi likely wanted to see Kim to ensure North Korea does not cut a deal with Trump that hurts Chinese interests during a summit that is expected to be held in May.

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    Beijing had appeared sidelined by Pyongyang's approaches to Seoul and Washington, but Kim's visit puts China firmly back at the centre of the diplomatic game.

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    Confirmation of the visit ended 24 hours of speculation about the identity of the North Korean visitor after Japanese media spotted a green train, similar to the one used by Kim's father, arriving in Beijing on Monday and departing the following day.

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    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Beijing railway station

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    While Chinese officials refused to confirm Kim's presence, a heavy police presence at key venues, motorcades driven under police escort, and barricades in the city centre fuelled the belief that Kim had come to pay his respects.

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It is said Ri has become the top fashion inspiration and role model for young North Korean women. One North Korean female defector said that whenever Ri comes on television the first thing they see is what Ri is wearing.

Kim Jong-un first N Korean leader to cross border into South since war

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    South Korean President Moon Jae-in, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju and Moon's wife Kim Jung-sook attend a farewell ceremony at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018.

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    North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (2nd L) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (L) toast with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (2nd R) and his wife Kim Jung-sook (R) during the official dinner at the end of their historic summit at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27, 2018.

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    The leaders of North and South Korea agreed Friday to pursue a permanent peace and the complete denuclearisation of the divided peninsula, as they embraced after a historic summit laden with symbolism.

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    The leaders of North and South Korea agreed Friday to pursue a permanent peace and the complete denuclearisation of the divided peninsula, as they embraced after a historic summit laden with symbolism.

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    Upon signing the document, the two leaders shared a warm embrace, the culmination of a summit filled with smiles and displays of friendship in front of the world’s media.

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    Upon signing the document, the two leaders shared a warm embrace, the culmination of a summit filled with smiles and displays of friendship in front of the world’s media.

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    Among the many spectacles Friday's inter-Korean summit offered was the two Korea's first ladies' first-ever meeting with one another, and the seemingly instant bond they formed.

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    The two were holding hands as they left the Peace House after the dinner, and did not let go of each other's hands until they reached an outdoor property where they watched a special performance celebrating the historic summit together.

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    And the two first ladies, in spite of seeing each other for the first time, seemed to have bonded well after the spring-themed banquet event.

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    And the two first ladies, in spite of seeing each other for the first time, seemed to have bonded well after the spring-themed banquet event.

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    Kim, who is some 30 years Ri's senior, extended a warm welcome and took her to the Peace House, where the summit had been taking place since earlier in the day.

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    In the afternoon, they planted a memorial tree and watered it with water from rivers in the South and North, before walking into a small glen along the border and across the blue footbridge for their private tete-a-tete as the sun set.

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    Moon would visit Pyongyang in “the fall”, the two leaders said, also agreeing to hold “regular meetings and direct telephone conversations”.

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    After the summit, he pledged that the two Koreas will ensure they did not “repeat the unfortunate history in which past inter-Korea agreements... fizzled out after beginning”.

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    The two previous Korean summits in 2000 and 2007, both of them in Pyongyang, also ended with displays of affection and similar pledges, but the agreements ultimately came to naught.

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    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un crossed the border into South Korea for the first time on Friday. The two leaders were handed flowers by a South Korean boy and girl, residents of a village situated in the demilitarised zone.

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    Kim was greeted by the South’s president, Moon Jae-in ahead of the two Koreas’ first summit in more than a decade.

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    Kim said he felt a “swirl of emotion” as he walked the short distance to the border, wondering “why it took so long”, he told Moon later, at the beginning of their meeting.

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    The two leaders smiled and shook hands after which Kim Jong Un gestured to Moon they cross over to North Korea briefly, which they did for a few steps, then returned to the South, holding hands.

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    The two leaders smiled and shook hands after which Kim Jong Un gestured to Moon they cross over to North Korea briefly, which they did for a few steps, then returned to the South, holding hands.

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    A new period in inter-Korean history was beginning, Kim Jong Un said Friday at the opening of a summit with the South.

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    “I came here determined to send a starting signal at the threshold of a new history,” he told his host Moon Jae-in in the Demilitarized Zone, promising a “frank, serious and honest mindset”.

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    Kim wore glasses and his trademark black Mao suit, while the rest of the North Korean delegation appeared in military uniforms or Western attire.

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    Kim stopped to sign a guest book in the South’s Peace House before the two leaders met for a private discussion.

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    His message read: ""A new history begins now. At the starting point of history and the era of peace."

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    Kim escorted by his bodyguards as he makes his way to the Military Demarcation Line.

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    The two men went back to their separate sides for lunch, Kim driven in a black limousine and escorted by a dozen bodyguards in dark suits and ties jogging alongside the vehicle.

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    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in sat down at an oval table to begin their inter-Korean summit Friday, television footage showed.

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    Both leaders viewing the painting of Bukhansan at the Peace House

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    Walking on a red carpet rolled out for the two heads of state, the pair were met by a South Korean honour guard in historical costumes and playing traditional music.

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    The two are expected to talk denuclearisation and exchanges between the Koreas and also will plant a memorial tree at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

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