North Korea unveils Kim’s daughter at missile launch site

Nov 18, 2022, 6:07 AM | Updated: Nov 19, 2022, 7:46 am
This photo provided on Nov. 19, 2022, by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim ...

This photo provided on Nov. 19, 2022, by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and his daughter inspect the site of a missile launch at Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. North Korea’s state media said its leader Kim oversaw the launch of the Hwasong-17 missile, a day after its neighbors said they had detected the launch of an ICBM potentially capable of reaching the continental U.S. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

              A TV screen shows an image of North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the test of a newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile confirmed that his country has another "reliable and maximum-capacity" weapon to contain outside threats, as he warned the United States and its allies that their alleged provocative steps would lead to "their self-destruction," state media reported Saturday. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              This photo provided on Nov. 19, 2022, by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and his daughter inspects a missile at Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. North Korea’s state media said its leader Kim oversaw the launch of the Hwasong-17 missile, a day after its neighbors said they had detected the launch of an ICBM potentially capable of reaching the continental U.S. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
            
              This photo provided on Nov. 19, 2022, by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and his daughter inspect what it says a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile at Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
            
              This photo provided on Nov. 19, 2022, by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and his daughter inspect the site of a missile launch at Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. North Korea’s state media said its leader Kim oversaw the launch of the Hwasong-17 missile, a day after its neighbors said they had detected the launch of an ICBM potentially capable of reaching the continental U.S. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
            
              This photo provided on Nov. 19, 2022, by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and his daughter inspect what it says a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile at Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has unveiled the little-known daughter of its leader Kim Jong Un at a missile launch site, attracting keen attention on a fourth-generation member of the dynastic family that has ruled North Korea for more than seven decades.

The North’s state media said Saturday that Kim had observed the launch of its new type of intercontinental ballistic missile with his wife Ri Sol Ju, their “beloved daughter” and other officials the previous day. Kim said the launch of the Hwasong-17 missile — the North’s longest-range, nuclear-capable missile — proved he has a reliable weapon to contain U.S.-led military threats.

The main Rodong Sinmun newspaper also released a slew of photos of Kim watching a soaring missile from a distance with his daughter. Other photos showed her with her hair pulled back, wearing a white coat and a pair of red shoes as she walked in hand-in-hand with her father by a huge missile atop a launch truck.

It’s the first time for North Korea’s state media to mention the daughter or publicize her photos. KCNA didn’t provide further details about her like her name and age.

Much of Kim’s private life is still unknown. But South Korean media reported Kim married Ri, a former singer, in 2009, and that the couple have three children who were born in 2010, 2013 and 2017.

It wasn’t known which child Kim took to the launch site. But in 2013, after a trip to Pyongyang, retired NBA star Dennis Rodman told the British newspaper the Guardian that he and Kim had a “relaxing time by the sea” with the leader’s family and that he held Kim’s baby daughter, named Ju Ae.

The identities of Kim’s children are a source of strong outside interest as the 38-year-old ruler hasn’t publicly anointed an heir apparent.

When he disappeared from public eye for an extended period in 2020 amid unconfirmed rumors about health conditions, global media frenzy flared over who was next in line to run an impoverished yet nuclear-armed country. Many observers said at the time that Kim’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, would step in and run the country if her brother was incapacitated.

The Kim family has governed North Korea with a strong personality following built around key family members since Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, founded the country in 1948. The family’s so-called Paektu bloodline, named after the North’s most sacred mountain, allows only direct family members to rule the country.

“It’s much too soon to infer anything about succession within the Kim regime,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul. “However, publicly including his wife and daughter in what Kim claims as a historically successful missile test associates the family business of ruling North Korea with the nation’s missile programs.”

“This may be an attempt to compensate for how few economic accomplishments Kim has to support his domestic legitimacy,” Easley said.

Analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea said if Kim continues to take this daughter to key public events, that could signal that she would become Kim’s successor.

“Under North Korea’s system, the children of Kim Jong Un would have the status of a prince or princess, like in a dynasty. As the Rodong Sinmnum newspaper publicized the photo of the daughter, who took after Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju so much … she has no choice but to live special lives,” Cheong said.

Other observers say Kim taking his family to a missile test site indicated he was confident in the weapon’s successful launch, or that he might have tried to burnish an image as a normal leader including his family in his affairs.

The disclosure of the Kim family child has taken many North Korea watchers by surprise.

It was only in 2010 when Kim, then 26, was first publicly mentioned in state media as he took a spate of top posts before he inherited power upon his father Kim Jong Il’s death the next year. Kim Jong Il was also 31 when he won a key post in the ruling Workers’ Party in 1973 — an appointment seen as a key step in the path to succeeding his father Kim Il Sung. Kim Jong Il’s position as successor was made public at the party congress in 1980.

But Cheong said Kim Jong Il privately told associates in 1992 that Kim Jong Un, his third and youngest son, would succeed him. Cheong said Kim’s aunt and her husband, who had defected to the United States, told him that a song praising Kim Jong Un was played and that Kim Jong Il said Kim Jong Un was his successor on his son’s 8th birthday.

“Kim Jong Un may have his daughter, who resembles him the most in his mind, as his successor,” Cheong said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

murders...
Associated Press

Renton man gets 10 years in prison in drug trafficking case

A federal judge has sentenced a Renton, Washington man to 10 years in prison for his role in a violent drug distribution ring, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Saturday’s Scores

PREP FOOTBALL= WIAA Playoff= Class 4A= Semifinal= Kennedy 42, Emerald Ridge 28 Class 3A= Semifinal= Yelm 28, Bellevue 27 Class 2B= Semifinal= Napavine 49, Jenkins Jr/Sr High (Chewelah) 6 Okanogan 42, Pe Ell/Willapa Valley 14 Class 1A= Semifinal= Mount Baker 14, Nooksack Valley 13 Class 1B= Semifinal= Liberty Bell 70, Odessa 24 Neah Bay 82, […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: 1 killed, 3 shot breaking into Georgia home

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (AP) — An 18-year-old was killed and three others were injured Friday in a shooting after they attempted to break into a DeKalb County home, police said. Officers arrived around 5 p.m. and found three people — a 23-year-old, 18-year-old and 15-year-old — who had been shot, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. All […]
19 hours ago
A crime scene is taped off at New Season Church in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. Me...
Associated Press

Drive-by shooting injures 2 at funeral at Nashville church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A drive-by shooting in Nashville on Saturday injured two people as they and others were walking out of church from the funeral of a woman who was fatally shot earlier this month, according to police. Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron said the afternoon shooting occurred outside New Season Church, […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Nick Fuentes, far-right activist, holds a rally at the Lansing Capitol, in Lansing, Mich., N...
Associated Press

Trump faulted for dinner with white nationalist, rapper Ye

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is renewing attention to his long history of turning a blind eye to bigotry after dining with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West just days into his third campaign for the White House. Trump had dinner Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago club […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

12-year-old dies in Russian Roulette; murder charges brought

A 12-year-old boy is dead after playing Russian Roulette with peers in Jackson, Mississippi, police say. Jackson’s Deputy Police Chief Deric Hearn identified the boy as Markell Noah, according to reports by Mississippi-based WLBT-TV. Following the death officers arrested two juveniles and one adult Friday. Police say the two juveniles are being charged with murder […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
North Korea unveils Kim’s daughter at missile launch site