North Korean leader Kim Jong Un unveils his daughter in a rare appearance
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un accompanied his baby daughter to a public place for the first time, confirming long-rumored reports of her presence.
The girl, believed to be Kim Cho-ae, accompanied her father to watch an ICBM launch on Friday.
Kim held his daughter’s hand during the US condemned test.
Kim runs one of the most secretive countries in the world and little is known about his personal life.
And North Korea’s official news agency released multiple images of the two holding hands while chatting and speaking with officials inspecting the missiles and watching the launch from the observation deck.
More interesting than a rocket test?
Jean Mackenzie ـ BBC correspondent in Seoul
The revelation of Kim Jong-un’s daughter has piqued the interest of North Korean analysts far more than news of the successful launch of the most powerful ICBM believed to be able to hit the United States.
Why? Because that says a lot about the future of the regime and its nuclear weapons program, or at least raises some interesting questions.
First, does this mean that she has been chosen to succeed Kim Jong Un and will one day rule North Korea? Most likely. This is a family line, meaning Kim wants one of his sons to take over.
Second, why disclose it now? She is still very young. If he prepares them for the job, does that mean the 38-year-old leader has health issues? His health is the subject of much speculation as he is seen as the greatest threat to the stability of the regime.
And third, what does this say about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program?
Its disclosure at such an important launch suggests it will one day play a role in the country’s weapons development. Kim recently announced that he would not give up his nuclear weapons under any circumstances. This is a way to show the world that their nuclear weapons are here to stay for the next generation.
Michael Madden, a North Korea expert at the Stimson Center in Washington, said he believes Cho-i is between 12 and 13 years old.
He said this public appearance could be Kim’s way of showing “that the fourth generation of power will come through my bloodline.”
And last September, several North Korea experts reported that Cho-ae appeared in video from the country’s National Day celebrations.
But that was speculation, and the North Korean leadership did not confirm that she was in fact the leader’s daughter.
The first time Cho-ai existed was mentioned in 2013 after retired American basketball star Dennis Rodman made a controversial trip to North Korea.
Rodman said he spent time with the Kim family, relaxing on the beach and “carrying their little girl, Chu Ae.”
Experts believe Kim could have up to three children, two girls and a boy, with Cho-ae being the eldest.
But the chief was so secretive about his family that even his wife Ri Sol-ju did not appear for some time after their marriage.
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