South Korea Views Kim Jong, Ju Ae is considered to be around ten years old. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s little daughter is considered her father’s potential heir apparent, South Korea’s spy service said in its first such evaluation of the youngster, who was revealed to the outside world a little more than a year ago.
South Korea Views Kim Jong Un’s Young Daughter
Since her first public appearance in November 2022, when she observed a long-range missile test launch with her father, there has been tremendous outside controversy and conjecture about the child, apparently about 10 years old and named Ju Ae.
Since then, the daughter has joined her father in several significant public events, with state media referring to her as her father’s “most beloved” or “respected” kid and churning out film and photographs demonstrating her developing political position and relationship with her father.
When she clapped while witnessing a military parade from a VIP observation platform in September, a senior general knelt and whispered to her.
During a visit to the Air Force headquarters in November, she was pictured standing in front of her father, both Kims wearing sunglasses and long leather coats.
Mr Kim kissed her on the cheek during a New Year’s Eve celebration in a packed Pyongyang stadium on Sunday, and she did the same to her father.
Most of these images would be unthinkable in North Korea, where Mr. Kim commands a fervent and devoted following who see him as a deity.
The National Intelligence Service (NIS) of South Korea announced on Thursday that Kim Ju Ae is her father’s most likely successor, citing a thorough examination of her public activities and official procedures supplied to her.
The NIS public affairs office stated that the North’s power succession process is still being considered because Mr Kim is still young, has no severe health difficulties, and has at least one other child.
Mr. Kim will be 40 on Monday. The NIS statement verified the remarks of legislator Youn Kun-Young, who referenced Cho Tae-yong, the nominee for NIS chief.
Mr Youn stated that Mr Cho expressed the same opinion in his responses to his inquiries before his parliamentary hearing.
Mr Youn, a member of parliament’s intelligence committee, verified Mr Cho’s judgment, which matched what the NIS told the AP, in an interview with the Associated Press (AP).
He stated that Mr Cho’s written reply to his inquiry offered no additional information about Kim Ju Ae. The NIS has a mixed record when it comes to confirming developments in North Korea, one of the world’s most secretive countries.
North Korea’s state media has yet to comment directly on the succession plan. According to Du Hyeogn Cha, an expert at Seoul’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies, while the NIS now regards Kim Ju Ae as her father’s successor, few can predict whether she will eventually become the North’s next leader.
Mr Cha also stated that Kim Ju Ae lacks the necessary political achievements to be formally appointed as the country’s future leader.
Given Mr Kim’s young age and North Korea’s Confucianism-influenced, male-nominated power ranking, NIS and other South Korean officials previously stated that viewing Kim Ju Ae as her father’s heir was premature.
They had speculated that the girl’s repeated appearances were more likely intended to boost public support for Mr Kim’s ruling family and his plan to delegate power to one of his children. North Korea has been ruled by male members of the Kim family since its founding in 1948.
Kim Jong Un ascended to power following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in late 2011. Kim Jong Il succeeded his father, state founder Kim Il Sung when he died in 1994.
The name Ju Ae corresponded to what retired basketballer Dennis Rodman referred to as Mr Kim’s young daughter, whom he claimed to have seen and cuddled during a trip to Pyongyang in 2013.
Kim Ju Ae has an elder brother and a younger sibling, the gender of whom has not been revealed, according to the NIS in 2023.