Entries in First Lady (4)


North Korea’s Latest Guessing Game: Did First Lady Have a Baby?

KNS/AFP/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Experts on North Korea have long studied photos of the country’s leaders trying to interpret the significance in the slightest change of body language, pose or position of hierarchy.

That intense scrutiny has now been turned on the wife of Kim Jong Un in a celebrity-like guessing game about whether she had been pregnant and may have given birth.  Or whether she simply gained weight and lost it again.

North Korea’s first lady Ri Sul Ju is believed to already have one child.

The secretive North Korean government has not confirmed any of these speculations.

The rumor mill started when North Korea’s Central News Agency released photos taken on Oct. 29 at a musical performance.  Ri was wearing a long yellow knit jacket with a bow on her stomach and her tummy bump raised questions: did she gain weight or is she pregnant?

It was difficult to tell but taking into account her fashion statement during the summer and fall of last year, sporting vivid colored fitted dresses and high-heel pumps, the loose cut jacket caught the eyes of North Korean watchers.

The next appearance by the first lady was on Dec. 17 at a memorial ceremony for Kim’s late father, Kim Jong Il, who died of a heart attack on 2011.  She was wearing the Korean traditional black funeral costume.  The form of the dress itself is supposed to be wide below the chest, but her swollen face and what looked like a tummy bump got the rumor swirling.

Then came the recent photo taken on New Year’s Day, when she was back to her signature Chanel-style round-neck pink jacket and skirt -- and a visibly slimmer waistline.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


North Korea’s First Lady Appears Pregnant

Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Is a fourth generation Kim in sight for North Korea's ruling family?

In film footage released this week, first lady Ri Sol-Ju appeared for the first time in two months with a visible baby bump.  Ri and her husband Kim Jong Un were filmed together at a musical concert to mark the 60th anniversary of the Kim Il Sung Military University.

Kim is the grandson of the communist nation’s founder Kim Il Sung.  He took power following his father Kim Jong Il’s death in December.

Speculation had been swirling that Ri was either pregnant or put under house arrest for her excessive cheerful attitude in public.  The rumor was that the state elders preferred a more conservative wife for their young leader who is believed to be 29 or 30 years old, according to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo.

Ri had been seen on North Korean media during the summer with her husband in state events.  Her sense of fashion -- colorful suits, polka-dot dresses, heels and even a Christian Dior bag -- and public display of affection, like holding hands or walking arm-in-arm with the leader, had surprised North Korean watchers.

But just when all were wondering where the ex-singer-turned-first lady had gone, she came back wearing an elegant knee-length cream jacket with matching strap covering her belly bump.  It may be her second child as there are rumors that the couple already have a son or daughter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama and Desmond Tutu Show Kids How to Stay Healthy

Michelly Rall/WireImage(CAPE TOWN, South Africa) -- First lady Michelle Obama did some push-ups and kicked around soccer balls alongside Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu as she closed out her visit to South Africa and prepared to leave for neighboring Botswana.

Tutu, who turns 80 this October, joined Obama at the new Cape Town Stadium, where the World Cup soccer tournament was held last year.

When Tutu introduced the first lady, he announced that she was a VIP, but then he also told each of the children in attendance that they were all VSPs, which the kids rightly guessed meant "very special persons."

The first lady said her co-host, a famed leader in the fight for racial equality in South Africa, was a special man.

"Well, Archbishop Tutu, I think you're a VSP, too," she said, laughing. "You guys are going to show us some soccer moves....Are you ready to? We might show you our moves."

Before the drills, the first lady urged the dozens of children to make safe, healthy choices.

"In order to be a VSP, you've got to be what? A VHP -- a 'very healthy person.' Right?" she asked. "Which means you've got to have the knowledge and the internal wisdom to make sure you're taking care of yourself."

"It's hard to have an impact if you're not in the best condition possible," she said.

Obama also spoke to a group of children at the University of Cape Town, where she told the youngsters that they, too, could go to college and make an impact.

"I wanted you to see that the students here are really not that different from all of you," she said. "I wanted you to realize that you can fit in here, too."

One child asked what the first lady's favorite food was.

"If I picked one favorite, favorite food, it's French fries, OK? It's French fries. I can't stop eating them," she said, admitting they are not the healthiest choice. "But eat your vegetables. And exercise."

Obama spent part of the day touring the District Six Museum in Cape Town -- a memorial recalling the forced segregation that once took place in the coastal city -- with her daughters Sasha and Malia, her mother, and her niece and nephew.

The museum trip replaced a planned visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. A ferry trip to the Atlantic Ocean island was cancelled because of dangerously high winds.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama Arrives in South Africa

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(GAUTENG, South Africa) -- The first lady has arrived in Pretoria for a weeklong trip in South Africa and Botswana focused on youth leadership, education and the political and cultural heritages of the two countries.
Mrs. Obama, dressed in a bright orange-and-black Duro Olowu sweater, a designer of African descent, was greeted at the Waterkloof Air Force base in Pretoria by U.S. Ambassador Donald Gips and his family and the South African Chief of Protocol Grace Mason, according to media.
First daughters Sasha and Malia are accompanying their mother on the trip, along with the first lady’s mother, Marian Robinson, and her niece and nephew, Leslie and Avery Robinson. Upon their arrival, the Obama daughters were given South African blankets in the colors of the nation’s flag as a gift, a welcomed accessory in the chilly 51-degree weather.
This is the first lady’s fourth trip to the continent of Africa and her first to South Africa. Tuesday, Mrs. Obama will meet with the first lady of South Africa, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, at the official residence of the president, before attending a reception with South African leaders organized by the U.S. Embassy. In the afternoon, the first lady and her family will spend time with Nelson Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, who will give them a tour of the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg. Later, they will also visit the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.
The trip, which is the first lady’s second solo official visit, is a continuation of her work to engage young people and encourage them to excel academically and serve their communities, a message she has shared on previous trips to Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, India, Mexico and the UK.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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