Rarely do the United States and North Korea exchange words that anything by critical. But this past week the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced that “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong-un had married lawmaker Ri Sol-ju, and a State Department spokesperson send along a short, albeit indirect, message wishing the couple well. In the announcement from the KCNA, the couple was seen smiling and conversing with guests at an amusement park and confirmed reports on who Kim Jong-un had been consorting with over the past few months.
However, it’s still unclear who Ri Sol-ju actually is, which isn’t at all surprising when you consider the secretive nature of the isolated Stalinist state. Earlier this month, NPR had reported on speculation that she was actually a pop singer from a group called Bochonbo Electronic Music Band, whose biggest hit was a 2005 hit titled “Excellent Horse-Like Lady.”
The State Department did express hope that, marriage or no marriage, North Korea would work to improve its human rights situation– a statement that is par for the course as far as diplomacy between the two countries is concerned, according to former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.