North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been seen holding hands with his daughter as they were pictured for the first time in public at the launching of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
This is kind of big news in the region because his children are not allowed to be mentioned in the media and he’s never shown up to a public function with any of them before. Nobody even knows how many children he has.
Kim’s daughter is rumoured to be called Ju Ae and could be around 12- or 13-years-old.
Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean elite, is sure that the pictured girl is Kim’s daughter and that the leader was making a statement with the image.
“The nuclear weapons programme and Kim Jong-un’s accomplishments around them is a family legacy for whomever his successor is,” he said.
“So, what we are seeing, is Kim telecasting that fourth-generation hereditary succession is highly likely to happen. This is intended to communicate it to the wider North Korean elite as well as to foreign governments.” he added
Kim oversaw the firing of the Hwasong-17 missile with North Korea’s neighbours saying they had detected the launch of an ICBM potentially capable of reaching the continental US.
The launching of an intercontinental ballistic missile was the second major weapons test this month and Kim said the launch confirmed North Korea has another “reliable and maximum capacity” missile, as he warned the United States and its allies that their alleged provocative steps would lead to “their self-destruction,” state media reported.
Some foreign experts said the Hwasong-17 missile is still under development but is the North’s longest-range ballistic weapon designed to carry multiple nuclear warheads to defeat US missile defence systems.
The latest launch is part of a flurry of missile tests that are seen as an attempt to expand its weapons arsenal and boost its leverage in future diplomacy.