Kim Jong Un reveals his daughter to the world at latest ballistic missile launch


Experts say images of Kim and his daughter are for elite consumption, and will symbolise Kim priming his daughter to be the following supreme leader STR / AFP – Getty Images

STR / AFP – Getty Images

recent ballistic missile with the range to hit all of the US is a tough thing to upstage. But North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did just that with a surprise guest on the test-launch: his little-known daughter.

Kim revealed his daughter to the world for the primary time Saturday in images showing the pair hand-in-hand on the missile launch site, an unexpected appearance that raises the prospect of a fourth generation of Kims taking leadership of the secretive state — and its growing nuclear arsenal. 

North Korean state media said that Kim had observed the launch of the state’s recent sort of intercontinental ballistic missile along with his wife, Ri Sol Ju, other officials, and his “beloved daughter” on Friday.

Kim said the launch of the nuclear-capable Hwasong-17 missile proved he has a reliable weapon to contain U.S-led military threats, and the U.S. responded by flying supersonic bombers in a show of force.

It was the most recent escalation in months of provocations from Pyongyang, but attention was suddenly focused on the daughter whose existence had never been publicly confirmed before.

North Korea’s Rodong Simmun newspaper revealed a series of images of Kim and his daughter, who wore a puffy white coat and red shoes to look at the soaring missile from a distance together with her father.

State media didn’t name the girl or disclose her age. It’s the primary confirmed public appearance of a toddler of the North Korean leader, whose personal life stays shrouded in mystery.

North Korean state media said Kim attended the missile launch with each his wife and “beloved daughter”

STR / AFP – Getty Images 

Kim Jong Un, 38, is the third generation of the Kim dynasty to rule over the reclusive state but has not publicly declared an heir, making the identities of his children a source of strong outside interest. Kim is believed to have three children, born between 2010 and 2017, along with his wife Ri, a former singer.

In 2013, retired NBA star Dennis Rodman said Kim had a “baby” daughter named Ju Ae, who he hung out with on a seaside vacation with the Kim family. It wasn’t immediately clear which child was shown within the photos.

“That is the primary observed occasion where we now have seen Kim Jong Un’s daughter at a public event” Michael Madden, a North Korean leadership expert on the Stimson Center, told Reuters. “It is extremely significant and represents a certain degree of comfort on Kim Jong Un’s part that he would bring her out in public in such fashion.” 

Some analysts suggested that tying his daughter so closely to the event of the country’s nuclear program was the most recent signal to the world that North Korea has no plans to present up its arsenal.

The photographs were the “optics of handing down a legacy,” said Jenny Town of 38 North, a Washington-based North Korea research organization, on Twitter.

“For those considering #NorthKorea was just upping the ante to re-enter negotiations, this seems to suggest otherwise. Just as declarations in regards to the nuclear program aren’t any longer conditional — this seems to bolster the nuke program is here to remain,” she said.

Friday’s launch was North Korea’s eighth ICBM launch this 12 months, as leadership pledged “fiercer” military responses to enhanced U.S. military presence within the region.

STR / AFP – Getty Images 

There may additionally have been a domestic purpose behind the massive reveal, nonetheless.

“Including his wife and particularly his daughter ‘soften’ the image, a minimum of [maybe] for domestic audience” added John Delury, a professor of Chinese Studies at Yonsei University in Seoul, on Twitter. “This isn’t a warmonger or narcissistic Little Rocket Man. He’s Dad, protecting his family, like he protects the Nation,” said Delury.

The Kim cult of personality has long been depending on the image of the supreme leaders as “fathers” of the nation. Propaganda images of Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, who founded North Korea, regularly depict him alongside children. Candy and sweet gifts for youngsters are sometimes distributed on the leader’s birthday, if resources allow. 

Yet Kim Jong Un rarely makes reference to his circle of relatives.

In 2020, U.S. officials and South Korean media speculated that Kim went through a period of ill-health after undergoing heart surgery. North Korea have never announced who would follow Kim if he became incapacitated, with analysts theorizing that his sister and loyalists could form a regency until a successor in his direct line was sufficiently old to take over. 

Bringing his daughter to the missile test site was a move for an “elite audience,” Madden told Reuters, potentially introducing the fourth generation of the hereditary succession. 

Kim and his daughter, whose name and age was not disclosed, watched the soaring rocket together from a protected distance.

STR / AFP – Getty Images 

The missile launched Friday got here after one other failed launch in early November. On Thursday, the North vowed “fiercer” military responses to Washington’s enhanced security presence within the region.

The Japanese defense minister said that the missile had the potential to achieve anywhere in the US. 

Vice President Kamala Harris, who’s in Bangkok for a regional forum, said the launch was a “brazen violation” of United Nations Security Council resolutions and called on North Korea to “stop further illegal destabilizing acts.” 

Friday’s family affair was North Korea’s eighth ICBM launch this 12 months, in accordance with the state department.

South Korean and U.S officials now say the North is preparing to conduct its seventh nuclear test, which can be its first since 2017 and a big escalation of tensions with Washington and its allies. 

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