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PoliticsNorth Korea

North Korea: Kim Jong Un visits troops with daughter

February 8, 2023

The rare sight came ahead of a 75th anniversary celebration for the country's army. Kim used the opportunity to praise the "irresistible might" of his military.

Kim Jong Un walks with his daughter Kim Ju Ae and his wife Ri Sol Ju
This was the fourth known public appearance of Kim Ju AeImage: KCNA/REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un brought his daughter to an event ahead of the 75th founding anniversary of the country's army, where he lauded his troops as the "strongest army in the world," state media reported on Wednesday.

This was the fourth known public appearance of Kim Ju Ae, aged around 9 or 10 years old. She was dressed just like her father in a black suit and white dress shirt, and walked down the red carpet holding his hand. Her mother and Kim's wife, Ri Sol Ju, was also present.

At the banquet held at the lodging quarters of the Korean People's Army's general officers, Kim praised the "irresistible might" of his nuclear-armed military, the official KCNA reported.

Kim Ju Ae's reference in state media as "respected" and "beloved" has sparked rumors that she is being groomed to succeed her father.

The increasing amount of public outings with his wife and daughter mark a significant shift from Kim's earlier apperances and those of his father — under whose authoritarian regime the leader's immediate family was rarely seen.

Kim Jong Un talks with his daughter Kim Ju Ae
Rumors abound that Kim Ju Ae is being groomed to succeed her fatherImage: KCNA/REUTERS

Pyongyang plans huge military parade

On Wednesday, North Korea will mark the 75th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army.

Pyongyang is widely expected to stage a massive military parade to mark the occasion.

The event will serve as an opportunity to display the newest hardware of its rapidly expanding nuclear weapons program, causing concern among neighboring countries and the United States.

Last year, North Korea conducted a record number of military tests firing more than 70 ballistic missiles. These comprised of nuclear-capable weapons with the ability to hit targets in South Korea or reach the mainland of the US.

North Korea has been critical of US military presence in the region and joint military exercises between the US and South Korea, threatening to answer with the "most overwhelming nuclear force."

Despite Kim not mentioning the US or rival South Korea in the speech to his troops, an editorial in the official newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Wednesday stated that the North's military is ready to launch a "super strong strike of unimaginable might to wipe out the origins of provocations without a trace."

ss/es (AP, EFE)