- - Thursday, July 26, 2012

North Korea

SEOUL — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been married since 2009, and his wife once visited South Korea, a Seoul lawmaker said Thursday, a day after the secretive North first disclosed the match.

Mr. Kim has been the subject of intense foreign interest since he took over the impoverished but nuclear-armed nation after his father, Kim Jong-il, died suddenly in December.

Even his exact age is unknown outside the North, although he is thought to be in his late 20s. His marriage to Ri Sol-ju had been a closely guarded secret.

Legislator Jung Chung-rai, citing what he said was information given to a closed parliamentary session by the South’s National Intelligence Service, said Ms. Ri was born in 1989 and studied singing in China.

United Kingdom

Heat wave causes air-quality problems

LONDON — British scientists say a heat wave has caused London’s air quality to deteriorate, which could affect athletes’ performances at the Olympics.

Scientists from King’s College in London say pollution in the British capital has reached the highest level in six years. Recent sunshine and low winds are “exactly the conditions that can bring summertime smog to London,” the environmental experts said in a statement Thursday.

They also launched a website that offers hourly air-quality updates on a venue-by-venue and street-by-street basis.

London has the largest and most advanced air-quality surveillance systems in Europe. Funded by the government, they are run by the King’s College center, whose researchers combine air-pollution science, toxicology and epidemiology to determine the impact of air pollution on health.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Troops, U.N. Gunships hit rebel stronghold

KINSHASA — Soldiers backed by U.N. helicopter gunships battled rebels around a strategic army garrison near a mountain gorilla reserve in eastern Congo as thousands of people continued to flee a 3-month-old rebellion allegedly backed by neighboring Rwanda.

U.N. Radio Okapi said the rebels Thursday began attacking Rumangabo military camp, which the soldiers had retaken from the M23 rebel group on Wednesday. The camp is a mile from the headquarters of the Virunga National Park, where rangers were forced to flee by fighting earlier this month.

Story Continues →