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Kim Jong Un reveals his daughter shows North Korea’s dynastic dream: experts

The photos showed a beaming Kim holding hands with an adorable girl in a white puffer jacket and red shoes.

Seoul, South Korea:

Kim Jong Un unveiled the fourth generation of his ruling family on Saturday, appearing in photos with his daughter for the first time, giving analysts a clear indication of his dynastic view of North Korea.

State media never mentioned Kim’s children – the regime hasn’t even officially confirmed their existence – but on Saturday KCNA reported that Kim, “along with his beloved daughter and wife”, oversaw the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Footage showed a beaming Kim holding hands with an adorable girl dressed in a white puffer jacket and red shoes, walking past a giant black-and-white missile and appearing to celebrate a successful test.

Kim – the grandson of North Korea’s founding leader Kim Il Sung and the third generation of the Kim family to rule the country – married his wife Ri Sol Ju in 2009, according to the Seoul spy agency .

She gave birth to their first child the following year, with their second and third born in 2013 and 2017, the agency said.

The only previous confirmation of the children’s existence came from former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who made a quixotic visit to the North in 2013 and claimed to have met a baby girl from Kim named Ju Ae.

The North Korean leader was “a good father”, Rodman said at the time.

– North Korean ‘princess’ –

The daughter revealed in the photographs is believed to be Ju Ae – likely Kim’s second child, Cheong Seong-chang of the Center for North Korean Studies at the Sejong Institute in South Korea told AFP, adding that she was the equivalent of a North Korean. “Princess”.

Now that her identity has been revealed, she will likely be able to participate in state affairs, he said, adding that her appearance with her father could even indicate that she was his anointed successor.

Kim Jong Un’s own father, Kim Jong Il, chose him to succeed his elders because he was the most like him, Cheong said.

“Kim Jong Un might want to do the same with this particular girl. Maybe she has the qualities that Kim thinks are very similar to hers,” he said, adding that if she continues to accompany his father to important events, that would be an indication. was the case.

– ‘The next generation’ –

North Korea has fired dozens of ballistic missiles this year, far more than any other year on record.

Japan said Friday’s ICBM launch likely had the reach to hit the Americas.

Introducing Kim’s daughter to the world at this point could be a message to the world that the North Korean regime is not going away, analyst Soo Kim told AFP.

“In a way, it’s a symbolic image of Kim passing the scepter of power to the next generation,” she said, which sends “a message to the international community to accept and prepare for the North Korea’s fourth iteration of terror and belligerence”.

She said the photos also suggest “a degree of closeness and comfort between Kim and her daughter,” which could indicate she is being groomed for future leadership.

“Third time is not the charm when it comes to dealing with the Kim family,” she said, adding that the world must “think about dealing with the fourth generation” of the regime.

– ‘Bad’ –

The photographs could also be part of a carefully staged attempt by Pyongyang to show that Kim is a “normal” leader, North Korean studies scholar Ahn Chan-il told AFP.

“Pyongyang seems to be trying to portray itself as a ‘normal’ nation – while carrying out these ICBM launches that show off its military prowess – showing images of Kim being a seemingly loving father,” Ahn said.

“It is also a gesture of stabilizing the regime by declaring to the outside world that it is now moving towards its fourth generation succession and that it is preparing well for it.”

Including his wife in the public appearance and “especially his daughter ‘sweetens’ the image, at least [maybe] for a national audience,” North Korean expert John Delury wrote on Twitter.

“He’s not a belligerent or narcissistic little Rocket Man. He’s a good dad, who protects his family, as he protects the Nation,” he added.

Other analysts said the timing and location of the girl’s introduction to the world – during an ICBM launch – was troubling.

It’s “the most missed day to bring your child to work,” said US-based safety expert Ankit Panda on Twitter.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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