The daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has become a regular feature at the country’s weapons tests, according to state media reports. Although the child’s age and name remain unknown, South Korea’s spy agency believes she may be named Ju Ae and is around 10 years old. She has been seen by her father’s side during missile tests, and military parades, and even brushed his cheek in front of hundreds of thousands of people, revealing a more human side to the dictator. This marks a departure from North Korea’s previous practice of not revealing the offspring of its leaders until they take positions in the state apparatus.
Kim Jong-un’s Daughter’s First Look
The child has been referred to as a “precious child” and “respected daughter” in state media since her debut in mid-November. Dressed in black and sporting long curls, she has been seen sitting next to her father, who has a cigarette in hand, appearing to watch a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile dart through the skies. This marked the third time she had been by her father’s side for an ICBM test. She was also a guest of honor, along with her mother, at a banquet of top military brass in February that coincided with a massive military parade through the streets of Pyongyang.
The child’s appearance has prompted speculation about her role in the country’s leadership. While it is unclear if she is being groomed as a possible successor, her presence indicates another generation of the Kim family is waiting in the wings. Her debut in state media came a week after the successful launch of the country’s most powerful ballistic missile. This prompted “stormy cheers of ‘Hurrah!'” from thousands of fawning citizens and soldiers, according to an official media dispatch.
Kim Jong-un’s Softer Side
The child’s appearance has also revealed a softer side to her father, who has been derided in the West as a brutal dictator. Up until her debut, North Korea had not let the public know about the offspring of its leaders until they became adults and took positions in the state apparatus. However, the child has been feted by thousands of people, indicating a shift in this practice. Her appearances at weapons tests and military parades have shown that the family dynasty that has ruled the country since it was forged in the Cold War clearly has another generation waiting in the wings.