Daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s is revealed to the world in first public appearance


Seoul, South Korea
CNN

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the launch of a “new type” of intercontinental ballistic missiles on Friday, alongside his young daughter, whose existence had not previously been confirmed.

Striking photographs released by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) appear to show Kim holding hands with the girl, as the ICBM sits on its mobile launch pad nearby.

KCNA claimed the “new” missile seen by the pair was a Hwasong-17 and said it was launched from Pyongyang International Airfield, flying a distance of 999.2 kilometers (621 miles).

Japan warned after Friday’s launch that the new missile appeared to have the potential range to reach the US mainland.

Kim said the test was intended to “clearly demonstrate” his country’s ability to respond to what he called the “hysterical aggression war exercises of enemies who seek to destroy peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.” , according to the KCNA report.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his daughter walk away from an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in this undated photo released Nov. 19, 2022 by KCNA.

“Kim Jong Un solemnly declared that if enemies continue to pose threats to the DPRK, frequently introducing means of nuclear attack, our Party and government will resolutely react to nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons and an all-out confrontation with a confrontation total,” KCNA said.

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Friday’s launch, which landed about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of the Japanese island of Oshima, Japanese officials said, was not the first time North Korea had fired an ICBM that experts and officials have assessed that it could theoretically reach the US.

Friday’s missile was shorter in altitude and distance compared to Pyongyang’s missile test on March 24, which recorded the highest altitude and longest duration of any North Korean missile ever tested, according to a report of the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) at the time. The missile reached an altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers (3,905 miles) and flew a distance of 1,090 kilometers (681 miles), KCNA reported.

And in 2017, then-US Defense Secretary James Mattis said a missile launched by North Korea that year demonstrated the ability to hit “the entire world.”

Despite the missile’s theoretical range, Pyongyang’s ability to put a nuclear warhead on it and launch it on target remains unproven.

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Ballistic missiles are launched into space before falling back to Earth. Experts have yet to see conclusive evidence that North Korea can get a warhead to successfully re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.

Kim’s threats to the US and South Korea were also not new.

After a missile test in October, the North Korean leader warned adversaries that his nuclear forces are fully prepared for “real war.”

“Our nuclear combat forces … once again demonstrated their full readiness for a real war to bring the enemies under their control,” Kim said in a KCNA report.

Very little is known about the private life of Kim Jong Un or his family.

Saturday’s report did not name Kim’s daughter, who appeared in state media for the first time. But in 2013, former basketball star Dennis Rodman told British newspaper The Guardian that Kim had a “baby” named “Ju Ae”.

Rodman said he spent time with the family, describing Kim as “a good father” and that he spoke with Kim’s wife, Ri Sol Ju.

“I took her baby Ju Ae and also spoke to Mrs. Ri,” she told the newspaper.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his daughter inspect an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in this undated photo released Nov. 19, 2022 by the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

In 2012, speculation arose that Ri might be pregnant after a photo published by state media showed her wearing a long coat that may have hidden a bump. But North Korean authorities remained silent on the matter.

State media did not announce Kim and Ri’s marriage until July 2012, about three years after South Korean intelligence believed the wedding took place.

But that changed in 2018, when North Korea’s state media gave her the new title of “Respected First Lady,” a step up from the previously used “comrade” and a sign, analysts said, that she was gaining the his own personality. cult

Kim and Ri have three children together, according to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS).

North Korea has been ruled as a hereditary dictatorship since its founding in 1948 by Kim Il Sung. His son, Kim Jong Il, took power after his father’s death in 1994. And Kim Jong Un took power 17 years later, when Kim Jong Il died.

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