SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who was recently seen in public for the first time at a missile launch site is his second child, aged about 10, South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers on Tuesday, amid speculation about his motives for bringing her to the attention of the outside world. to bring.
North Korea said on Saturday that Kim observed the launch of the country’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile — Hwasong-17 — the previous day with his wife Ri Sol Ju and their “beloved daughter.” State media released photos showing Kim walking hand in hand with a young girl dressed in a white coat and red shoes past a huge rocket placed on a launch vehicle and watching a rising weapon from a distance.
During a closed-door briefing at a parliamentary committee, South Korea’s National Intelligence Agency, the country’s main spy agency, told lawmakers it estimates the daughter is Kim’s second child, named Ju Ae and around 10 years old, Yoo Sang-bum, one of the lawmakers who attended the meeting, said.
The NOS has determined that she is Kim’s second child because her appearance matched information that she is taller and taller than other girls of the same age, Yoo quoted the NOS.
Youn Kun-young, who also attended the NIS meeting, said he was also informed that she is Kim’s second child, but declined to provide further details.
The NOS said it cannot confirm the legislator’s comments. It neither confirms nor denies the content of its private briefings given in parliament. NOS has a flawless track record of confirming developments in North Korea, one of the world’s most secretive nations.
The daughter is apparently the child of Kim who saw retired NBA star Dennis Rodman during his trip to Pyongyang in 2013. After that visit to Pyongyang, Rodman told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that he and Kim had a “relaxing time by the sea” with the leader’s family and that he was holding Kim’s baby girl named Ju Ae.
It was the first time North Korea had officially confirmed its existence. North Korean state media last week did not disclose the age, name and other details of Kim’s daughter. South Korean media has speculated that Kim married Ri in 2009 and they have three children, who were born in 2010, 2013 and 2017 respectively. According to some reports, Kim’s first child is a son and the third is a daughter.
Kim, 38, is the third generation of his family to lead North Korea since 1948. At the end of 2011, he inherited power after the death of his father Kim Jong Il.
Kim and his father were both first mentioned in state media reports after coming of age. Given that the daughter’s revelation supposedly came as a surprise to outside observers in her early teens.
Some experts say the daughter’s revelation at a missile test site showed Kim was emboldened by his advancing nuclear arsenal, the backbone of his family’s reign. Others speculate that if Kim continues to bring her to big public events, that could suggest that Kim could have her in mind as his early heir.
North Korea’s main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said on Sunday it will continue to expand its nuclear arsenal to “ensure the bright smiles and sweet dreams of our future generations.” justifying his nuclear ambitions or showing that it is his family that governs the country’s nuclear and missile programs.