North Korea: Dictator Kim Jong-un reveals his daughter to the world for the first time

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Kim appeared on Saturday November 19 next to a young girl whose age and name are not specified, dressed in a white quilted jacket and red shoes. This is the first official confirmation of the existence of her daughter, experts say.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the launch of his latest ICBM accompanied by his daughter, whose existence is thus revealed to the world for the first time, in a message published on Saturday November 19 by the state agency KCNA. Amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, Kim also reiterated that he would use the atomic bomb in the event of a nuclear attack on his country, after the Hwasong-17 was launched Friday “successfully,” according to KCNA.

His “beloved wife and (his) daughter”

This “test firing clearly demonstrated the reliability of the new large strategic weapons system,” state media commented. The United Nations Security Council said on Saturday it would meet on Monday to discuss the situation. In calling on the United Nations body to “respond appropriately”, the European Union condemned “a dangerous, illegal and irresponsible action”.

Extremely rare, KCNA, the only source of information from Pyongyang, quoted Kim Jong Un’s family, stressing that the leader had gone to the launch accompanied by his “beloved wife and (his) daughter”.

Kim appeared alongside an unnamed young girl wearing a white puffer jacket and red shoes. This is the first official confirmation of the existence of her daughter, experts say.

The North Korean regime had never previously confirmed the existence of a family of the leader. South Korean intelligence services ensure that Kim married Ri Sol Ju in 2009, who gave birth to three children between 2010 and 2017, without specifying their gender.

For Cheong Seong-chang, a North Korea specialist at South Korea’s Sejong Institute, it could possibly be Kim’s second son, Ju Ae. In 2013, the former star of the NBA, the American basketball league, Dennis Rodman, visiting Pyongyang, had given a rare testimony of the existence of this child, whom he had known.

The fourth generation of Kim

His appearance revives speculation about a future dynastic transfer of power in North Korea, where Kim Jong Un succeeded his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung.

According to Soo Kim, a former analyst with the US intelligence agency CIA, Friday’s launch testifies to “the permanence of the Kim regime’s weapons program, as it is an integral part of its very survival and the continuity of the regime’s rule. Its family”. “It also answers some questions about succession,” the analyst, now at RAND Corporation, told AFP.

“We have seen the fourth generation of Kim with our own eyes. And her daughter – as well as other possible siblings – will definitely be taken care of by her father,” he noted. For KCNA, the latest missile launch on Friday confirms “that once again the nuclear forces of North Korea (acronym of the official name of North Korea ed) have reached a new maximum reliable capability to contain any nuclear threat”.

The United States, South Korea and Japan have stepped up joint military maneuvers in recent months since Kim Jong Un said in September that North Korea’s nuclear state status was “irreversible”. Seoul and Washington notably conducted the largest joint air exercises in their history in late October and early November.

On Saturday, the South Korean military announced that a US B-1B bomber had been redeployed to the Korean peninsula as part of new exercises between the two allies. But North Korea sees these displays of force as rehearsals for an invasion of its territory or an attempt to overthrow the regime.

Kim even called them “warfare exercises of hysterical aggression” and promised to respond “resolutely to nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons and all-out confrontation with all-out confrontation,” as quoted by KCNA.

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