First Lady of North Korea

The first lady of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as the first lady of North Korea, is the wife of the supreme leader of North Korea.

First Lady of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
조선민주주의인민공화국 영부인
Ri Sol-ju (April 27, 2018).png
Ri Sol-ju

since 15 April 2018
ResidenceRyongsong Residence, Pyongyang, North Korea
Inaugural holderKim Song-ae
Formation17 December 1963

During the administration of President Kim Il-sung, his second wife, Kim Song-ae, assumed the duties of First Lady.[1] The position was left vacant under the leadership of General Secretary Kim Jong-il, who had two wives and three domestic partners at different times; although the position was re-established following the successful April 2018 inter-Korean summit.

The current first lady is Ri Sol-ju, wife of State Chairman Kim Jong-un, in office since 15 April 2018. In April 2018, Ri's title was elevated to "respected First Lady", the first time since 1974 the title had been used in North Korea, when it was used about Kim Song-ae. Ri was previously called by state media "comrade"; the promotion occurred ahead of the April 2018 inter-Korean summit where Sol-ju and the first lady of South Korea, Kim Jung-sook, were in attendance.[2][3]

List of first ladies of the Democratic People's Republic of KoreaEdit

The following is a list of the first ladies of North Korea.

Supreme Leader

Portrait First Lady
(Maiden name)
Tenure Age at tenure start Supreme Leader
(Husband, unless noted)
1 Kim Song-ae
1924-2014 (aged 89)
17 December 1963

15 August 1974
38 years, 353 days Kim Il-sung
m. 1952
2 Vacant 15 August 1974

15 April 2018
43 years, 243 days Kim Jong-il
m. 1966 and 1974
3   Ri Sol-ju
Born (1989-10-26) 26 October 1989 (age 30)
15 April 2018

28 years, 158 days Kim Jong-un
m. 2009

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Carter J. Eckert, Ki-baik Lee, Young Ick Lew, Michael Robinson, and Edward W. Wagner, Korea Old and New: A History (Seoul: Ilchokak / Korea Institute, Harvard University, 1990), 377.
  2. ^ "Kim Jong-un elevates wife to position of North Korea's first lady". The Guardian. Seoul. Agence France-Presse. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  3. ^ "First ladies of two Koreas meet for first time". 27 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b "North Korea leader Kim Jong-un married to Ri Sol-ju". BBC News. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  5. ^ Sang-hun Choe (25 July 2012). "North Korean Leader Marries". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  6. ^ "Keeping up with the Kims: North Korea's elusive first family". BBC News. 29 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  7. ^ Joohee Cho (26 July 2012). "North Korea's First Lady Was Cheerleader, Ditches Drab Outfits". ABC News. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  8. ^ Thayer, Nate (26 July 2012). "North Korea IDs Mystery Woman as Kim Jong-Un's Wife—But Who Is She, Really?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  9. ^ O'Connor, Tom (27 September 2017). "Meet Ri Sol Ju, wife of Kim Jong Un and first lady of North Korea". Newsweek. Retrieved 10 February 2018.

Further readingEdit