July 24th, 2006
Report: Kim Jong Il takes new wife info
| Report: Kim Jong Il takes new wife |
Widowed N. Korean leader marries his former secretary
SEOUL, South Korea - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has taken his former secretary as his new wife, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday, citing sources familiar with the country.
His wife Ko Yong-hi, the mother of two of Kim’s three sons, died of breast cancer in August 2004, the agency said.
“I heard Kim has been living together with a woman named Kim Ok, who was his secretary, since Ko Yong-hi died two years ago,” Yonhap quoted a South Korean government source as saying.
She is the de-facto first lady of North Korea,” said the source who is familiar with Kim’s family.Kim Ok, 42, has frequently accompanied Kim Jong-il, 64, on his visits to army bases and industrial complexes, and sat with him when he met visiting foreign dignitaries, sources said.
She studied piano at the North’s elite Pyongyang University of Music and Dance and worked as the leader’s secretary from the early 1980s. Kim Ok also travelled with him when he made a secret visit to China in January and met Chinese leader Hu Jintao, the news agency said.
“She is a cute woman rather than a beauty like the leader’s previous wives or live-in women,” another South Korean government source said.
No official records are available as to Kim Jong-il’s marital history, but Yonhap said Kim had married or lived a long time with three other women.
The communist leader had two sons with Ko, and his eldest son with a different woman.