North Korea's Kim Jong-un marries
The statement followed extensive speculation about the identity of a young woman repeatedly pictured with Kim in recent weeks – who had been variously identified as his wife, sister or possibly a married singer he was rumoured to have romanced.
State radio announced that he had attended the completion ceremony of an amusement park with his wife, Comrade Ri Sol-ju, according to Voice of America. It is not clear when the pair married.
Kim became leader following the death of his father Kim Jong-il late last December and took the top military rank of marshal this month – days after the sudden departure of army chief Ri Yong-ho – in a symbolic cementing of his status.
Professor Hazel Smith, an expert on North Korea at Cranfield University, said: "It looks as if they have been following a very systematic sequence of events." Kim is thought to be 27 or 28 and his wife also appears to be in her twenties or early thirties.
Earlier, the South Korea's unification minister, Yu Woo-ik, had said that the woman repeatedly shown with him "appears to be his wife", AFP reported, although he did not indicate why he thought so.
The country’s dictator, “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-Il, had presided over one of the most repressive regimes in the world until his death in December 2011, passing down his mantle of leadership to son Kim Jong-Un. The country is completely dedicated to the ideology of Juche, which means “self-reliance.”
The only acceptable religion is Juche, or “Kim Il-Sung-ism,” the cult of the deceased leader. All other religions are harshly repressed. Hundreds of thousands of Christians have died because of persecution, and up to 35,000 are currently in prisons or work camps. The true number of Christians is unknown, though estimated by most reliable sources to be around 100,000.
After decades of economic mismanagement and resource misallocation, North Korea has relied heavily on international aid to feed its population since the mid-1990s. Chronic food shortages and widespread malnutrition are rampant. North Korea's history of regional military provocations, proliferation of military-related items, long-range missile development, “weapons of mass destruction” programs and massive conventional armed forces are of major concern to the international community.
As Juche becomes increasingly weak and deluded, North Korea and its regime appear ever more vulnerable. According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. intelligence depicts Jong-Un as "a volatile youth with a sadistic streak who may be even more unpredictable than his late father."
- Pray North Korean believers will persevere in what is probably the most difficult country to be a Christian.
- Pray for the leader and his cadre that the Holy Spirit will bring them to repentance and belief.
- Pray for a watershed moment in God’s timing that will bring thorough change, freedom and complete transformation to this land.
- Pray for safety for North Korean refugees in China who live in hiding and are hunted by Chinese and North Korean agents.
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