File picture of Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol-Ju
Watch Lunar New Year Traditions From Around The World Photo by Korea Summit Press Pool/Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, were seen in public for the first time in five months at a Lunar New Year concert Tuesday. The event took place in the massive Mansudae Art Theater in Pyongyang where the couple was greeted by thunderous cheers upon their arrival.

According to the Associated Press, the leader and his wife were seen joining performers on stage for group photos holding hands while smiling and talking to the artists. The said photos have not yet been published for the public but the state news agency has taken footage of the couple enjoying the performances in the company of Kim’s aunt, Kim Kyong Hui.

Hui’s public appearance is her first in two years after the tyrant leader had her husband, Jang Song Thaek executed for treason and corruption in 2013. Jang was then Korea’s No.2 official prior to his execution. Rumor has it that Hui had been purged and even executed until she reappeared in 2020, attending the Lunar New Year concert with her nephew.

The state news agency featured the big New Year event showcasing performances that were centered on songs and dances depicted by local artists to demonstrate the “single-minded” unity of North Koreans. It was a show of solidarity and devotion to support a socialist country meant to be envied across the world.

Aside from the grand musical concerts held in cities around the country, North Koreans are known to visit the capital’s Central Zoo and the statues of former leaders as part of their Lunar New Year festivities. In Pyongyang, families also look forward to a special horse race hosted at the Mirim Riding Club. Typically, tradition in North Korea dictates celebrating the Lunar New Year by showing respect to its supreme leaders. Residents would lay flowers on statues of former leaders or visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun to pay homage to their leaders' burial sites or climb up to Mansu hill to do the same on their giant bronze statues. Families would dine with other families while watching art performances, spend time kite flying or participate in board games held at the festival grounds.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry declared this year’s Lunar New Year a public holiday in North Korea, allowing residents to take the day off. However, they have to put in extra hours of work on weekends. On national holidays, Kim Jong-un provides food and daily necessities to all North Koreans as part of the nation’s celebration.

Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (R) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (L) wait for South Korean President Moon Jae-in at Pyongyang Grand Theater on September 18, 2018 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korean leader Kim and South Korean President Moon meet for the Inter-Korean summit talks after the 1945 division of the peninsula, and will discuss ways to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Photo by Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images

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