Kim Jong-un’s daughter reveals hints of lingering family rule

SEOUL, South Korea—North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently unveiled his daughter in public on the day one of his children becomes the regime’s third hereditary power transition. It is likely that this was an attempt to show the public that he would inherit the power of South Korean intelligence told lawmakers on Thursday.

In public, Kim took his daughter to three events: a missile launch site, a photo shoot with a weapons scientist, and a tour of the missile facility. State-run news media have referred to her as Kim Jong-un’s “most beloved child”, and although she is believed to be nine or she is about 10, she is being raised as his legal heir. It has sparked external debate as to whether or not it exists.

In a closed parliamentary committee session, the National Intelligence Service said it believed Kim Jong-un was aiming to show the North Korean people his determination to make another transition of hereditary power by bringing his daughter into public view. said that A lawmaker who attended a closed NIS briefing told reporters:

But the NIS said Joo Ae’s first public appearance among Kim’s children did not necessarily mean that she would follow in Kim’s footsteps, Yu said. added Mr.

South Korean news outlets report that Kim has three children born in 2010, 2013 and 2017, the first being a son and the third a daughter.

In an early assessment after the daughter’s first appearance in November, NIS told lawmakers that she was Kim’s second child, named Joo Ae, and was about 10 years old. To lawmakers, her unveiling at the missile launch site appears to reflect Kim’s intentions to keep future generations of North Korea safe in the face of confrontation with the United States.

Joo Ae looks like the kid former NBA star Dennis Rodman saw during his 2013 visit to Pyongyang. After that visit, Rodman told British newspaper The Guardian that he and Kim spent “relaxing time at sea” with the leader’s family. That he was holding Kim’s baby daughter, Joo Ae.

Kim daughter
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (R) and his daughter at a missile launch site at Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, November 18, 2022. (Korea News Service via Korea Central News Agency/AP)

Kim Jong-un, who turns 39 on Sunday, is the third in a family that has ruled North Korea for generations since its founding in 1948. He inherited his powers after the death of his father Kim Jong Il in December 2011. Kim Jong Il took over power when his father, founder of the state, Kim Il Sung, died in 1994.

Young Joo Ae’s appearance came as a big surprise to longtime North Korea watchers. Both Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-il made their public debut after reaching adulthood. In 2010, Kim Jong-il marked Kim Jong-un (his third and youngest son), then 26, as his successor, placing him in a series of high-ranking posts.

Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of Kim Jong-il and half-brother of Kim Jong-un, was seen as a possible successor to the regime’s dynastic leader until he was arrested in 2001 for trying to enter Japan on a forged passport. was Go to Tokyo Disneyland. In 2017, Kim Jong-nam died at a Malaysian airport after two Asian women smeared his face with the lethal nerve agent VX. South Korean intelligence agencies have accused the Kim Jong-un regime of being behind the attack.

At Thursday’s briefing, the NIS also said former North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, who was involved in dormant nuclear diplomacy with the United States, has been purged, according to another lawmaker Youn Kun-young who was present at the meeting. said.

If true, it would be North Korea’s most high-profile expulsion in years. Early in his reign, Kim Jong-un launched a string of executions, purges and dismissals of high-ranking officials, including the murder of his influential uncle, in an effort to cement his grip on power.

Yoon quoted the NIS as saying it had not yet decided whether Ri Yong-ho had been executed. Mr. Yu said intelligence agencies had not explained why Mr. Ri was purged.

A career diplomat, Ri attended the 2018-2019 nuclear summit with the United States over ways to exchange North Korea’s denuclearization measures for economic and other benefits. After his second summit with Kim Jong Un and then-President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, fell apart in February 2019, Ri said at a late-night news conference that Washington would “come back.” Maybe not,” declared a wasted opportunity. Also. “

South Korean intelligence agencies have spotty records tracking North Korean movements. Information about secretive and authoritarian states is often impossible to verify.

NIS also told lawmakers that one of five North Korean drones that recently violated South Korean airspace may have photographed the South Korean presidential palace in Seoul. The military said a North Korean drone had penetrated the northern edge of a no-fly zone set up around the presidential palace.

The South Korean military has admitted it failed to shoot down a North Korean drone, the first time it crossed the border in five years.

NIS said North Korea has about 500 drones, including a small number of self-explosive drones, Yoo said.

Observers say North Korea has a history of sending surveillance drones to South Korea. A suspected North Korean drone spotted in South Korea in 2014 also included a photo of the South Korean presidential palace in another location in Seoul. Another suspected North Korean drone that crashed in 2017 was found filming a US missile defense system in South Korea.

Associated Press