Kim Jong-un, the young supreme leader of North Korea, might be a new father. According to reports from the South Korean government, Kim’s wife, Ri Sol-ju, reportedly gave birth in late 2012, though North Korea has kept the existence of the Communist dynasty's heir a strict state secret.
The Washington Free Beacon cites reports from the South Korean government that Kim is in fact the father of a new baby. If the rumor is true, the child would be his first, making the child the heir to North Korea’s hereditary dictatorship.
While reports from South Korea are almost certain Ri has already given birth, there is no word yet on the child’s sex.
Many commentators believe that there is a strong possibility North Korea has kept the rumored child a secret because she may be a girl. Michael Madden, editor of North Korea Leadership Watch, says the isolated nation is extremely male-dominated and that a female first child could be embarrassing for the leader.
“If it was a boy, [the North Koreans] would have made an announcement,” Madden told the Free Beacon.
For the past few months, South Korean news outlets have speculated that Ri was pregnant after she appeared with a noticeable baby bump in October. Months later, Ri seemed to have shed all her extra weight in an New Year’s Day appearance, leading many to believe she had already given birth to the next Communist leader. Others speculate that Ri had labor induced in the interest of North Korean symbolism.
"North Korean authorities may have either induced Ri to go into labor at the end of last year or have her child through caesarean section in order to bear a child in 2012, which marks 100 years since founder Kim Il-sung's birth," one South Korean government source told South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo last month. Kim Il-sung was Kim Jong-un's grandfather.
North Korean state media has not responded to the story, but no one should take that as proof of anything. Not only is North Korea extremely secretive, but it has a habit of only announcing official statements long after the rest of the world is aware of an event. For instance, North Korea only officially announced that Kim and Ri were married last July, but the two have been unofficially linked together by the press since 2009.
In other Kim-related news, former Chicago Bull Dennis Rodman called the eccentric dictator an “awesome guy.”
“Guess what, I love him,” Rodman said of Kim after visiting North Korea. “The guy’s really awesome.”
So maybe Kim Jong-un makes a terrible dictator, but in Dennis Rodman’s eyes, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of him being a great dad.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.