North Korea has unveiled the little-known daughter of its leader Kim Jong Un at a missile launch site, attracting keen attention on a fourth-generation member of a dynastic family that has ruled North Korea for more than seven decades.
The North’s state media on Saturday said Kim had observed the launch of its new type of intercontinental ballistic missile with his wife Ri Sol Ju, their “beloved daughter” and other officials the previous day. Kim said the launch of the Hwasong-17 missile—the North's longest-range, nuclear-capable missile—proved he has a reliable weapon to contain US-led military threats.
The main Rodong Sinmun newspaper also released a slew of photos of Kim watching a soaring missile from a distance with his daughter. Other photos showed her with her hair pulled back, wearing a white jacket and a pair of red shoes as she walked in hand-in-hand with her father by a huge missile atop a launch truck.
It's the first time for North Korea's state media to mention the daughter or publicise her photos. KCNA didn't provide further details about her like her name and age.
Much of Kim's private life is still unknown. But South Korean media reported Kim married Ri, a former singer, in 2009, and that the couple have three children who were born in 2010, 2013 and 2017.
It wasn't known which child Kim took to the launch site. But in 2013, after a trip to Pyongyang, retired NBA star Dennis Rodman told the British newspaper the Guardian that he and Kim had a “relaxing time by the sea” with the leader's family and that he held Kim's baby daughter, named Ju Ae.
The identities of Kim's children are a source of strong outside interests as the 38-year-old ruler hasn't publicly anointed an heir apparent.