North Korea’s communist dictator Kim Jong-un made a second public appearance with his unnamed tween daughter on Sunday at an event to celebrate Pyongyang’s most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Hwasongpho-17.
Kim’s daughter made her public debut at a test for the Hwasongpho-17 last week, standing next to Kim and mother Ri Sol-ju in front of the giant missile, which North Korean officials claim is nuclear-capable and a threat to the American mainland.
Kim, who is believed to be about 38 years old, may have as many as three children, though none had been seen in public until last week. Experts believe the daughter seen in government propaganda photos last week and on Sunday is the girl that basketball star Dennis Rodman identified as Kim Ju-ae during a visit to the country in 2013. At the time, Rodman described the girl as a baby, suggesting she would now be anywhere between 9 and 13 years old.
Kim is the third of his bloodline to govern North Korea since grandfather Kim Il-sung established the communist fiefdom and the communist personality cult that continues to rule it. Political observers have suggested that the sudden appearance of Kim’s daughter in public is a message to would-be contenders to run the country that Kim fully intends to pass it down to his children.
Rodong Sinmun, the official state newspaper of the repressive North Korean government, identified the girl in the photos only as Kim Jong-un’s “beloved daughter.” The girl appears in a black fur coat, similar to the white fur coat she wore in her debut last week. Kim himself appears to be wearing a leather trenchcoat, a look he first debuted at what appeared to be a Top Gun-inspired test of the Hwasongpho-17, the first time the North Korean government confirmed the existence of the missile. That missile test was the first of its kind since 2017.
“When General Secretary Kim Jong-un appeared at the photo session venue together with his beloved daughter, all the participants broke into stormy cheers of ‘Hurrah!'” Rodong Sinmun relayed regarding the event on Sunday, which it described as a “photo session with contributors to successful test fire” of the Hwasongpho-17.
“The participants were filled with boundless passion and happiness of receiving undeserved glory and fortune again amid the pleasure and pride over the fact that the rapidly increasing tremendous abilities of the DPRK [North Korea] was strikingly displayed,” the propaganda outlet continued, “and the strategic and absolute strength of great and dignified Korea was demonstrated to the whole world in the course of the dynamic advance for the Party’s far-reaching cause of building a military power.”
Rodong Sinmun paraphrased an address to those in attendance by Kim in which he declared that the goal of his country is to “become the strongest” nuclear power on earth.
“It is the truth taught by history that only when we become the strongest, not the weak, in the present world where the strength in showdown just decides victory, can we defend the present and future of the country and nation,” Kim reportedly proclaimed.
“He said with confidence,” the report continued, “that our self-defense capability would be put on the position of the world’s strongest as long as our fighting goal and determination are clear and there is a large army of defense scientists and technologists intensely loyal to the Party and the courageous munitions workers and the absolute support of our people.”
“Self-defense” and “strategic” capability are words typically used in North Korean media to refer specifically to nuclear power.
Elsewhere in North Korean state media, Kim declared the Hwasongpho-17 the “world’s strongest strategic weapon,” according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). It noted that the missile itself, an inanimate object, also received the title of “DPRK Hero” at a formal ceremony. The missile, North Korean media reported Monday, also somehow received the honor of a “Gold Star Medal and Order of National Flag 1st Class.”
The missile, state propagandists said, had “clearly proved before the world that the DPRK is a full-fledged nuclear power capable of standing against the nuclear supremacy of the US imperialists and fully demonstrated its might as the most powerful ICBM state.”
It concluded the “mettle of socialist Korea” had the “absolute power to put an end to the imperialist tyranny in the earth,” presumably suggesting regime change in America, and claimed that the missile would be remembered “forever in the nation’s history spanning 5,000 years.”
North Korea’s communist regime has increased its violent rhetoric in the past month after greatly increasing the frequency of missile tests and projectile firings in the general direction of South Korea and Japan. North and South Korea are technically in a state of war – as are the proxies, China and America, respectively – as no party signed a peace treaty in the Korean War, which began in 1950. Active hostilities ended with an armistice agreement in 1953.
In early November, the general staff of the North Korean military issued a belligerent statement regarding its repeated projectile assaults toward its neighbors, claiming them necessary to deter “provocative moves” by Seoul and Washington.
“The recent corresponding military operations by the Korean People’s Army are a clear answer [by North Korea] that the more persistently the enemies’ provocative military moves continue, the more thoroughly and mercilessly the KPA will counter them,” the North Korean General Staff said, apparently referring to routine American and South Korean military exercises.
Last week, Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, issued a hysterical screed calling America a “barking dog seized with fear” and warning that it will soon face a “more fatal security crisis” in response to a general joint statement issued alongside “such rabbles” as Australia and France.
“The U.S. should be mindful that no matter how desperately it may seek to disarm the DPRK [North Korea], it can never deprive the DPRK of its right to self-defense, and that the more hell-bent it gets on the anti-DPRK acts, it will face a more fatal security crisis,” she concluded.