Ms Fatimah Naeem is pursuing her Bachelor's in Peace and Conflict Studies from National Defence University Islamabad.
The North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-Un has been known to have lived a life of privacy and privileges. From early childhood, he has been met with extravagant curriculums like pursuing his education in Switzerland to spending his vacations in the Swiss Alps and jet-setting around Europe. At his father’s orders, Kim Jong-Un returned to North Korea in 2001 and started attending Kim Il-Sung Military University alongside his older brother Kim Jong-Chol.
Upon finding North Korean life oppressive, Kim Jong-Chol was deemed unfit to carry on the legacy of the Kim dynasty in North Korea. This ultimately led to Kim Jong-Un being the next suitable candidate after his father. Despite having little prior combat experience, Kim Jong-Un swiftly elevated up the political and military ladder.
The BBC stated that he was made a four-star general, deputy head of the power-wielding Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party, and a member of the policy-making Central Committee. Kim Jong-Un assumed the position of the supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2011, following the passing of his father.
Recently, Kim Jong-Un of North Korea has been observed to be attending lavish military parades alongside his daughter, Kim Ju-Ae, whose presence has erected multiple assumptions and speculations in contemporary world affairs.
Is a New Successor Emerging Soon?
The public appearances of Kim Ju-Ae alongside her father at two pretentious nuclear exercises have exhibited a clear message to the international community that the Kim dynasty will be ruling North Korea with the same zeal, zest, and enthusiasm as they have done in the years prior and that they will remain a nuclear power to ensure no one can question their autonomy.
Kim Ju-Ae is speculated to be the supreme leader’s second-born and to be around 10 years of age. Her age is not confirmed to be accurate due to obvious secrecy within the Kim dynasty revolving around their children. She was also seen to be observing at least 11 intercontinental ballistic missiles that were flashed through the famous monument of Kim Il-Sung Square in the North Korean Capital of Pyongyang.
Later on, Leif-Eric Easely, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul stated that “By ostentatiously including his wife and daughter, Kim wants observers at home and abroad to see his family dynasty and the North Korean military as irrevocably linked.”
When Did the Spotlight Fall on Kim Ju-Ae?
In November 2022, pictures of the girl were released where she was seen to be visiting a missile factory hand-in-hand with her father. On another occasion, she caught the public eye while inspecting a ballistic missile, Hwasang-17, alongside the supreme leader and was also seen to have appeared at its launching event.
The girl is mentioned in stories before Kim’s wife and is given a special status by the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper, which uses the phrases “beloved” and “respected” to describe her.
Kim Ju-Ae and Kim Jong-Un appear to be having a happy memento together in the photos. In one of them, she can be seen affectionately stroking his face. Analysts are perplexed by the publishing of the photos, regardless of what the reality of their relationship could be.
Internally Appointed Successor or Just a PR Stunt?
Many analysts around the world have demonstrated their opinions on the “beloved daughter” using various paradigms and perspectives. Kim Ju-Ae’s appearance at the recent events has convinced numerous analysts and the international media in the contemporary world that she is primed to succeed and continue the legacy of her father.
Some analysts suggest that Kim Ju-Ae’s appearance at various military-oriented functions has made them assume that she’s being brought to the spotlight in hopes of gaining military support if she’s to become the next successor to the Kim dynasty. She can build credibility with the military over time by being prominently featured at military events from a young age.
Contrary to the popular belief that’s discussed above, many analysts also believe this to be a publicity stunt which could perhaps indicate Kim Jong-Un as a man who’s caring for his family or maybe even as a feminist in order to gain more public support.
A retired South Korean general, Chun In-Bum, made some ponder-worthy statements regarding Kim Ju-Ae’s appearance saying that either North Koreans have stumbled upon or have found a way to grab international attention and with all the interest that has been accumulating so far.
“Throughout their seven-decade history, their successors have always been a mystery to us. Why would they change their mode of operation now? So if I were to bet $5, I would say she is not the successor,” Chun said.
After all the frenzy that has taken place since Kim Ju-Ae’s front and center display, it’s safe to say that the Kim dynasty has no plans for stepping down from the throne. The Kim family has always made it their agenda to promote the significance and greatness of their presence in running the North Korean territory. Along with that, the numerous missile launching programs and exercises have also made a prominent mark in current affairs and the establishment of their relations with other countries.
The Kim dynasty knows how to retain its symbolic status by exhibiting such an extraordinary series of events. Kim Jong-Un’s succession through Kim Ju-Ae is still speculation of an abstruse nature and its progress can only be tracked through how long this episode might last since it’s still a developing story.
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