Kim Jong-un's daughter appears in public for the first time
Eva Deschamps / November 19, 2022
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw Friday's launch of his "monster missile," the Hwasong-17, with his daughter making her first public appearance, the official state agency KCNA reported Saturday.
This is an extremely rare occurrence. The KCNA agency had never mentioned Kim Jong-un's children until now, and the North Korean regime had never even confirmed the existence of a family of the leader. In the photos, he is holding the hand of a young girl wearing a white down jacket and red shoes, whose age is not specified, in front of a huge white and black missile.
Kim Jong-un, grandson of North Korea's founding father Kim Il-sung, represents the third generation of his family to lead the country. According to South Korean intelligence, the current leader married Ri Sol-ju in 2009, who gave birth to their first child the following year. The second and third children (whose gender is unknown) were born in 2013 and 2017.
According to Soo Kim, a former analyst with the U.S. intelligence agency CIA, Friday's launch testifies to "the permanence of the Kim regime's weapons program, as it is integral to its own survival and the continuity of its family rule. »
This even partly answers questions surrounding the succession, the analyst, now at the RAND Corporation, added to AFP. We've seen the fourth generation of the Kims with our own eyes. And his daughter, as well as other possible siblings, will certainly be groomed by her father. »
North Korea's state agency said the missile launched Friday reached "a maximum altitude of 6,040.9 kilometers and traveled a distance of 999.2 kilometers" before "landing accurately on the predefined area" in the East Sea (or Sea of Japan). These data corroborate the estimates given by Seoul and Tokyo on Friday, and are only slightly lower than those of the intercontinental ballistic missile fired by Pyongyang on March 24, which appears to be the country's most powerful test ever.
The day after his show of force, the dictator promised, according to KCNA, to respond "resolutely to nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons and to a total confrontation with a merciless confrontation", while denouncing the joint military maneuvers carried out between the United States, South Korea and Japan. A U.S. B-1B bomber was redeployed to the Korean peninsula on Saturday.
The United Nations Security Council announced on Saturday that it would meet on Monday to discuss the situation. North Korea's missile launches have multiplied and intensified since September, with twenty-three launches on November 2 alone.