North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended a grand night time parade organised by the country’s military, where it showcased its largest number of intercontinental ballistic missiles. ABC News reported that the parade was held at Kim Il-Sung Square, in central Pyongyang, with over 30,000 soldiers participating. But the centre of attention was Kim’s daughter, which ABC News said is nine-year-old Kim Ju Ae. The girl has been spotted in several important military related events since November last year, raising speculations that she may be the future of Pyongyang’s leadership.
“Kim Jong Un seems to be taking advantage of the international attention from the public whenever he brings his daughter to military photo ops,” Professor Park Won-gon of Ewha Womans University, told ABC News. “She also has a symbolic significance as the next generation, as Kim Jong Un has been referring to its ICBM Hwasong-17 as a source of well-being and happiness of the next generation.”
Ju Ae even inspected a guard of honour alongside her father. The photos were also beamed live by state television during the broadcast of the military parade.
For years, North Korean state media never mentioned Kim’s children, although Seoul’s spy agency has said he has three with his wife. They are believed to be aged around 13, 10 and six.
The only previous confirmation of their existence had come from former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who claimed he met Ju Ae during a 2013 visit to North Korea.
A day before the parade, she was also spotted at a lavish banquet at a military barracks. Kim, his wife Ri Sol Ju and the little girl visited the barracks to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), according to a CNN report.
At the banquet, the girl was seated in the center of the lead table between Kim and her mother.
Three months ago, at the launch of his most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile, Kim had turned up with his “beloved” daughter in tow.
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