The country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, provided the world a little more information about his family this week in a sequence of images issued by North Korea’s state media commemorating the nation’s military parade for the Korean People’s Army 75th anniversary on February 8.

Pictures of Kim Jong Un’s daughter Kim Ju Ae, who is said to be around 10 years old, standing next to her father were juxtaposed with images of the nation’s armed forces, tanks, and weapons and ammunition on show in a parade.

The vast Kim Il Sung square in the country’s capital Pyongyang is where Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and president of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s State Affairs, and his wife Ri Sol Ju arrived, according to the DPRK’s state media.

Kim Ju Ae is wearing a fur-lined coat with gold buttons down the front, leather gloves, and a black cap; this is her fifth public appearance that the nation’s state media has reported on.

Kim Ju Ae went to her parents’ supper, which was held for military leaders just before the procession. For those who follow North Korea, several of these photos show Kim Ju Ae taking centre stage while walking behind Kim Jong Un while dressed in a black skirt and jacket. She was pictured sitting with her father in front of senior military officers in some images issued by the nation’s state media, while her mother Ri Sol Ju was visible in other images.

When the revered Comrade Kim Jong Un arrived at the lodging quarters with them, commanding officials of the Ministry of National Defence and military and political commanding officers of the KPA accorded him the deepest respect and were the people they longed to see even in their dreams.

In addition to shedding additional light on the Kim family, especially in light of the fact that Kim Jong Un’s children are largely unknown, Kim Ju Ae is referred to as the leader’s “favourite daughter” in the state-run media of the nation. Ju Ae, who is 10 years old, is said to be Kim’s second-oldest child. In other parts of the world, references to the children of state leaders may not be geopolitically significant, but in the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name for North Korea), that situation is different.

Kim Ju Ae has been raised to a position where she is now a “respected” and “loving” daughter, according to pronouncements made this past week by official media, sparking conjecture over who will follow Kim Jong Un.

For academics and other watchers of the country, the succession rumours in North Korea have always been important. However, it has intensified since the first few images of Kim Ju Ae were made public almost three months ago. Because the North Korean government controls the information that is released, cautious academics and observers might be hesitant to declare that Kim Ju Ae is her father’s successor based on these public appearances.

In the case of Kim Jong Un, it wasn’t made clear that he would likely succeed his father Kim Jong Il until a year before his death in 2011. The nation’s top military officials, however, are thought to have been aware of Kim Jong Il’s succession plans when his son was only eight years old. The North Korea-focused research community likewise holds the opinion that Kim Jong Un is only 39 years old, making succession speculation premature.

In North Korea, patriarchal values are quite entrenched, and consequently, they are reflected in political representation. Nevertheless, a few women have occupied prominent roles in senior leadership positions. One of the most prominent is Kim Yo Jong, the leader’s 35-year-old sister, who is not only a well-known diplomat for her nation but also the only female member of the influential State Affairs Commission of North Korea. Kim Yo Jong is also the deputy department director of the Workers’ Party of Korea’s publicity and information department.

Despite the underrepresentation of women, some North Korea observers think it could not be impossible to envision a female leader for the DPRK. Kim Ju Ae meets at least one of the conditions since, according to a BBC report, the genealogy of the Kim family is crucial to succession in the nation.

By Bizemag Media

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