Wow. I feel like a proud parent. I need a hankie…My lil Kim all growed up…again..
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has taken a musician-turned-secretary as his new wife after his former spouse died of cancer two years ago.
Kim Ok, 42, lived with the reclusive North Korean leader who turned 64 in February after serving as his private secretary, Seoul’s Yonhap news agency said quoting an unnamed government source.
“She is virtually North Korea’s first lady,” said the source who Yonhap called a Seoul government source privy to information on Kim Jong-Il’s family
Kim Ok, a piano major at Pyongyang University of Music and Dance before becoming Kim Jong-Il’s secretary in the early 1980s, has since accompanied the North’s leader on trips at home and abroad, the source said.
“She is a cute woman rather than a beauty,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I heard she is very wise and clever.”
She visited Washington as a member of North Korea’s delegation led by Jo Myong-Rok, first vice chairman of the National Defense Commission, in 2000 and accompanied Kim Jong-Il to visit China in January, the source added.
The reclusive leader has often been described by outside media as having a playboy lifestyle of wine and women despite the chronic poverty of his people.
Pyongyang has never made public Kim Jong-Il’s marital status, but he is believed to have had three wives, South Korean and Japanese media reports said.
Kim was married to Ko Yong-Hui, a former dancer who died of breast cancer in August 2004; Sung Hae-Rim, a former actress who died of heart disease in Moscow in 2003; and Kim Young-Sook in the 1970s, according to the reports.
Kim Jong-Il inherited power from his late father Kim Il-Sung in 1994 as North Korea established the world’s first communist dynasty.
Media speculation has been rife that Kim Jong-Il may anoint his successor from among his three sons — the eldest born to Sung and the two younger ones to Ko.
North Korea experts tout Kim’s second son, Jong-Chul, 25, as the front-runner in a succession race since his first son, Jong-Nam, 35, was kicked out of Japan for illegal entry on a forged passport in 2001.