Original Author Yan Zhao Wei (阎兆伟)
(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
Translator’s Note: This is an English translation of the original Chinese language text entitled ‘金正恩父子为都啥乐意找能歌善舞的妻子’ or, ‘King Jong Un: Father and Son Happy to Marry Dancing & Sing Wives’. The tone of the article is inquisitive, whilst also presenting interesting facts about this reclusive country. It is revealed, for instance, that despite the fact that the North Korean regime was originally premised upon the Soviet model of Marxist-Leninist thinking, both the founder of regime – Kim Il Sung – and his son – Kim Jong Il – both exhibited typical Confucian attitudes with regards to leadership and their relations with the opposite sex. Kim Jong Il had four wives, for instance, whilst Kim Il Sung refused to recognise the validity (and off-spring) of his first marriage! Of course, these attitudes are really the continuation of Korean feudalistic thinking within a framework of supposed Socialist development – a contradiction that cannot be correct, as imperialistic attitudes such as this belong to the historical stage of feudalism, which pre-exists the development of both Capitalism and Socialism! ACW 22.11.14
Korea is a mysterious country. It is mysterious because if you want to learn anything about the country, it is virtually impossible to gain any knowledge from North Korean official sources. Instead, knowledge must be gained from foreign news agencies, or from intelligence sources to form an opinion. This often means that what is believed to be true about North Korea is mostly speculation. The North Korean people are strange, however, as they appear to accept and ‘enjoy’ (享受 – Xiang Shou) the suffering, and retain an attitude of continuous brooding – this helps to maintain the sense of ‘mystery’ about North Korea in the eyes of the outer world.
Logic dictates that the ‘First Lady’ (第一夫人 – Di Yi Fu Ren) of a country, should be very famous, as her presence attracts extensive interest from the world media, as well as ordinary people. Often this attention is greater than that afforded to her husband – the president, or prime minister, etc. When travelling abroad, the leader’s wife often acts as his right-hand, and is seen to take the initiative in formal engagements and initiate introductions.
North Korea’s office of ‘first lady’ is as mysterious as the country she represents. Foreign media reports abound with stories relating to the marriages of Kim Jong Il (金正日). It is asserted that he had four marriages – which included one wife ‘to play around with’, an ‘intermediate’ wife, and two others. As a teenager, Kim Jong Il was very good and married a film actress – having a child with her. However, his father (and founder of the North Korean State) Kim Il Sung (金日成) refused to recognise this marriage, despite the fact that this film actress gave birth to a son named Kim Jong Nam (金正男). This meant that Kim Jong Nam – despite being the eldest son of Kim Jong Il – could not follow in his father’s footsteps and inherit the leadership of North Korea.
Kim Jong Un was the child of Kim Jong Il’s ‘legal’ (法定 – Fa Ding) wife. Although this lady was Kim Jong Il’s ‘legal’ wife, she was never officially recognised whilst he was alive. Even the foreign media did not speculate on this matter. However, it turned-out that North Korea’s ‘First Lady’ – and the mother of Kim Jong Un – was a beautiful Japanese-Korean dancer. Photographs of her performing can be easily found online. None of this was known until the death of Kim Jong Il and the succession of his son – Kim Jong Un. For some unknown political reason at that time, the story was brought to light in North Korea (and the world). Kim Jong Un’s mother is Ko Young Hee (高英姬), and when her son came to power, a eulogising film was made about her in North Korea and released in May, 2012. It was only screened for the members of the Korean People’s Army and leading cadres. The film features key events from the lives of Kim Jong il and Ko Young Hee, and in so doing, the mystery surrounding the subject was finally lifted for some North Koreans.
During the tenure of Kim Jong Un, the mystery surrounding this matter seems to have eased a little. This is evident from the fact that in public places, there is always a beautiful and elegant young lady who discreetly follows Kim Jong Un as he goes about his duties. Obviously this has led to much speculation amongst the foreign media. The speculations have been that this woman was either Kim Jong Un’s sister – or his wife. Later, this woman was indeed revealed to be Kim Jong Un’s wife. It also transpired that this mysterious woman was a very famous singer.
This relative openness may well be the result of Kim Jong Un’s studying abroad and gaining far more experience than his father – who never flew on an aeroplane…
On July 25th, 2012, the Korean Central News Agency announced that the Supreme Leader of North Korea – Marshall Kim Jong Un and his wife Li Xue Zhu (李雪珠) – attended the opening ceremony of a new amusement park. Soldiers, builders, and female workers presented Kim Jong Un with bouquets of flowers. Kim Jong Un stated at the time that even greater efforts must be made if:
‘The people are to enjoy the benefits of the most favourable conditions available for cultural life.’
The foreign media immediately seized upon the fact that this woman was the ‘First Lady’ of North Korea, and in so doing the countries of the developed world saw through the mystery – even though for many North Koreans, reliable information about their own country is often scarce to come by, or thin on the ground. Now, in contemporary North Korea, the veil of mystery surrounding the ‘First Lady’ has been lifted regarding two generations – namely Kim Jong Il and his wife Ko Young Hee, and Kim Jong Un and his wife Li Xue Zhu. Ko Young Hee was a dancer, whilst Li Xue Zhu was a singer – therefore it can be truthfully said that for both leaders of North Korea, they preferred ‘First Ladies’ who were dancers and singers.
How is it that two leading political figures such as Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un are willing to accept dancers and singers as their wives? The fact of the matter is that beauty is everywhere and the human heart is unpredictable and knows no bounds. Marriages based upon ‘love’ and ‘affection’ cannot be ‘planned’, such as is the case of ‘arranged marriages’. Father and son are obviously both happy to have wives who are performers – simply because they are able to perceive the beauty of their hearts. As the people of North Korea are diverse, this ‘realisation’ reflects the beauty of the North Korean nation. This is why the ‘First Lady’ of North Korea can be a singer – for this fact Kim Jong Un can be forgiven.
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2014.
Original Chinese Language Article