Media reports about North Korean First Lady Ri Sol-Ju has caused Pyongyang to lash out at South Korea. Both the government and the media of South Korea were accused of being “psychopaths” and confrontation maniacs,” hurting the dignity of their leader, Kim Jong-Un. The southern government was also warned of paying a high price for what they call a hideous crime. The accusation was made a day following North Korea’s decision to indefinitely postpone the reunion of families separated by the Korean War.
North Korea did not hold back from criticizing the South when the latter picked a report from Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper about the execution of some Unhasu Orchestra members. According to the Japanese daily, the entertainers were executed by firing squad because they have recorded their sexual activities on video. Ri, who used to be part of the group, is rumored to have done the same which has supposedly caused North Korea to clear the name of the first lady, though by unusual means.
According to Asahi Shimbun, the police have recorded conversations among the members of Unsahu Orchestra. One of them has said, “Ri Sol-ju used to play around in the same manner as we did.” The Japanese paper also noted that their source was a “high-ranking North Korean government official who recently defected.” When the South Korean media wrote about the incident, noting the lifestyle of Ri, the North Korean news agency KCNA said, “This is an unpardonable, hideous provocation hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership.” The agency also warned that “those who commit such a hideous crime … will have to pay a very high price.”
Ri has not always appeared before the public. In one of such rare occasions, she was seen carrying a designer’s bag suspected to be a Christian Dior. For a country whose people are living in poverty, such a sight was definitely disputed. Accounts on her past are even questioned.