Tue. May 30th, 2023

The North Korean dictator has been seen in public with his daughter, fueling speculation that she could be his heir.

Why is Kim Jong-un's daughter in the headlines these days?
Why is Kim Jong-un’s daughter in the headlines these days?


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Photos of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un with his eldest daughter have surfaced in recent months in the national media. In these pictures, he can be seen holding his daughter’s hand at a missile launch site in November. In another picture, she is standing on her father’s shoulder as a large number of his loyal soldiers pass in front.

Kim Jong-un’s eldest daughter, Kim Ju-i, is believed to have been born in 2013 and is the second of Kim’s three children. Kim also has another daughter and a son.

The release of this photo with the head of the world’s only communist family has led South Korea’s intelligence service to conclude that the North Korean dictator may want to show that Kim’s successors will rule the state. will do

Analysts, however, believe that it would be premature to conclude that Kim Joo-i will succeed her father, as this would require changing attitudes in North Korea’s male-dominated society. will undoubtedly be resisted by high-ranking military and political leaders.

Kim’s intentions are still unclear

Analysts acknowledge that only Kim knows whether he has any intention of making his daughter the leader of the communist country. North Korean media have published pictures showing senior officials bowing to Kim Joo-i. Among them, Jo Ai has been called Kim’s “cutest” child. She is wearing a white parka and a long coat with a fur collar. The photo also shows the fashion sense of his mother, Ri Sol Joo, who is considered a fashion icon in North Korea.

But in a press briefing in early January, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service told senior politicians that by taking his daughter out in public, Kim is already laying the groundwork for what could be a third line of power in Pyongyang. What will be the hereditary succession? Kim himself took over from his father, Kim Jong Il, when he died suddenly in December 2011. Kim Jong-un himself was not considered his father’s chosen successor for many years, given the complications of claiming leadership of North Korea.

His older half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was expected to receive the post. But his father became angry with him after he was arrested at a Tokyo airport in 2001 while traveling on a fake passport from the Dominican Republic. Although Kim Jong-un was able to defeat his half-brother and rise to the top position, he continued to see him as a threat to his legitimacy and rule. In 2017, Kim Jong-nam was assassinated by a nerve gas at Kuala Lumpur airport and the attackers reportedly fled to North Korea.

Is Kim Jong-un sick?

There have been reports that Kim Jong-un is not in good health. His photographs show him struggling with a smoking habit and arthritis and possibly diabetes, similar to his father’s ailments. He is only 39 years old, but the question of possible succession has already become a hot topic in the chambers of power in Pyongyang.

Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Waseda University in Tokyo and author of several books on the Kim family, says, “It’s hard for me to believe that this girl can take over from her father, mainly because she’s a woman. “North Korea is an extremely conservative and Confucian society, which means that it is impossible for Kim Jo Ai to emerge as her father’s successor,” he told DW.

“I think we have to assume that he will choose to hand over control to his son when the time comes,” he said, “but he will certainly want the headship to remain in the family, and follow suit.” In North Korea, it is called ‘Paikto blood relationship’.

Mount Paikto straddles the border with China. North Korea’s propaganda missionary claims that the founder of the nation and Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and his guerrilla fighters were based there, from where they defeated the Japanese occupiers of the Korean peninsula in the 1940s. A war was fought against. Although it is also said that he spent most of his time in a camp for displaced persons in Russia, and when the war ended, Moscow imposed him on North Korea as its puppet.

An attempt to distract

Shigemura said, “I believe that Kim has put his daughter in front of the North Korean media and these symbolic places for a specific purpose. He wants to make people believe that the economic sanctions and the closure of the borders due to the Covid epidemic Despite the problems they face, they are very determined.”

“He’s trying to distract people, showing off his happy family and even trying to encourage people to show him as a father and a leader,” he said. How many have been affected by them.” Shigemura says that Kim actually wants to show that he wants to maintain his family’s rule, trying to discourage opposition.

Lim Yoon-jung, a professor of international studies at South Korea’s Kongju National University, believes that given the current ages of Kim’s children, it is too early to speculate on who might take over. “It is true that Kim is not looking healthy, but I don’t think Kim Joo-i will become the leader of North Korea in the near future because she is still too young,” he said.

Lim Yoon-jung believes that “by publishing these pictures of father and daughter, they are probably trying to signal to the North Korean people that the future is bright for the new generations in the country. In the current situation, these pictures I read a lot too prematurely and quite difficult.”

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