North Korea: Mystery woman at Kim Jong Un's side — sister, wife, lover?

There's speculation she could be his sister, wife or lover, or possibly even the daughter of a mistress of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

A mystery woman seen shadowing Kim Jong Un, North Korea's new leader, is certainly stirring some speculation among the world's media.

According to Agence France-Presse, North Korean state TV on Sunday aired footage of the smartly dressed young woman joining Kim (the younger) at the 18th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung. 

The same woman was pictured sitting next to Kim at a concert on Saturday, the Associated Press reported, adding that North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper ran a photo of Kim and the woman on its website Monday without identifying her.

Speculation in South Korea media reports ranged from the woman being Kim's younger sister, Yo-Jong, to his wife or lover.

According to JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, cited by AFP, the woman may be Hyon Song-wol, a famous state singer rumored to be the Kim Jong Un's lover.

Hyon reportedly disappeared from public view in 2006 but reappeared on TV in March, apparently late in pregnancy.

"Hyon was a friend of Kim since they were teenagers and there is a rumor among the North's elites that she was his lover," the paper reportedly quoted an unidentified Seoul intelligence official as saying.

Kim Jong Un's secrecy carries on a tradition among North Korean rulers, whose wives are rarely -- if ever -- seen in public.

According to the BBC, it is unknown whether Un is married, or even his exact age, so closed is North Korean society.

However, AFP cited Yang Moo-jin, of Seoul's University of North Korean Studies, as throwing out another possibility, that she could be "a daughter of one of the mistresses of the late Kim Jong Il ... so that Jong-un can publicly showcase the solidarity in the ruling family."

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