Seoul (The Korea Herald/ANN) - North Korea's state television has recently shown a series of video clips in which its young leader Kim Jong-un was accompanied by an unidentified, elegant woman during his official activities, sparking speculation that she may be his wife.
The footage released by Korean Central Television on Sunday showed Kim and the lady in a formal brightly colored dress visiting a kindergarten in Pyongyang.
The distance between them was far closer than other high-ranking officials including his powerful uncle Jang Song-thaek, reinforcing the speculation that the woman may be the first lady of the reclusive state.
A Seoul government source said that the possibility of her being Kim's wife is very high.
"Taking into consideration her distance (from Kim) and other treatment of her, she is very likely to be his wife. Kim may be married," the source told media on condition of anonymity.
Some experts echoed his view, saying that they go beyond the simple relationship between leader and female subordinate.
"(The television) appears to have underscored that he is a married leader with a wife in apparent efforts to overcome one of his biggest weaknesses - being young - and project an image of a stable leader," said Cheong Seong-chang of the think tank Sejong Institute.
But some observers said that as Pyongyang has yet to officially verify whether he married her, it is still too early to make any conclusion based on the footage.
The woman first appeared in the media on July 7 when state television reported that Kim attended a musical performance by the Moranbong Troupe the previous day. She was seen sitting right next to him.
On July 8, the channel also reported that Kim and the woman paid tribute to his grandfather and late national founder Kim Il-sung at the Geumsusan Memorial Palace on the occasion of the 18th anniversary of his death.
Some observers first speculated that she could be his younger sister Kim Yo-jong. But experts said that special treatment and the level of security around her suggested that she is more than a sibling.
After his father Kim Jong-il died last December, he became the supreme commander, the first secretary of the North's ruling Workers' Party and the first chairman of the National Defense Commission, effectively taking control of all power organs of the communist state.