North Korea. Kim Jong Un showed his successor? “It could be a cunning, brazen plan”

North Korea.  Kim Jong Un showed his successor?  “It could be a cunning, brazen plan”

North Korea. Kim Jong Un showed his successor? “It could be a cunning, brazen plan”

Kim Jong Un has shown his daughter in public twice in recent weeks. The presence of a girl called “beloved daughter” at official events sparked a wave of speculation that she may be anointed as the successor to the North Korean dictator. According to the expert, showing the daughter has a great symbolic meaning, but it could have been misread. – It may also be that showing this daughter is a cunning, brazen plan of the North Korean authorities to draw excessive attention to it, and their actual intention is completely different – says Dr. Oskar Pietrewicz, an analyst from the Polish Institute of International Affairs.

“Is Kim Jong Un’s ‘Beloved Daughter’ the next leader of North Korea?” he asks in a New York Times article published on January 4. Speculations about the possible indication by the North Korean leader of his successor appeared after the girl was shown several times during official events.

The appearance of Kim Jong Un’s daughter was a surprise. So far, the children of the North Korean dictator have never been shown and practically nothing is known about them. The girl was first shown on November 18when she and her father watched the launch of the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile. The photos showed a young girl in a white coat who was held by Kim Jong Un as they walked around the training ground. A few days later, the child was identified by South Korean intelligence as Kim Dzu Ae. Later, the child reappeared, this time wearing a black cloak.

Kim Jong Un showed his daughter. His name is to be Kim Jzu AeKCNA/PAP/EPA

SEE ALSO: North Korea fired another ballistic missile towards the Sea of ​​Japan

Kim Jong Un’s daughter

However, very little is known about the girl, who is to be called Kim Dzu Ae. – Actually, it’s hard to say anything about it – admits Dr. Oskar Pietrewicz, an analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs and author of the book “The dispute over Korea. The role of USA and China in shaping international security on the Korean peninsula.” “All we know for sure is the information that has been made public since November 2022, that is, her presence with her father on the occasions of manifestations of North Korea’s military power,” he says. Even her name and age, presumably 9 years old, never officially confirmed. The girl was presented in the North Korean media only as “beloved daughter”, which, however, caused a wave of speculation about her. Is Kim Jong Un pointing to her by presenting his daughter to his countrymen and presenting her in such a unique way? as the future successor at the helm of a nuclear state?

Dr. Oskar Pietrewicz remains skeptical about this. “It is far too early to conclude that this is Kim Jong Un’s natural successor,” he says. – I am closer to the opinion that the successor will be presented later, after entering adulthood, and that it will be a male offspring – he estimates. In his opinion, this is due to the priority of the durability of the Pyongyang regime itself. – In North Korea there is a cult of a strong leader and a man ideologically best embodies the needs of this regime, a woman would be a great challenge here – adds Dr. Pietrewicz. – It is very important for the North Korean regime that the successor is able to bear this role. So the rigid hereditary scheme was abandoned here, because it could indicate a leader who is insufficiently prepared for this role. Also, naming a successor who is still a child poses a risk in this respect – the expert lists.

North Korea – who will succeed the dictator?

Doubts may also be raised as to whether the North Korean regime would be able to elect a woman as its leader. – The role of women may grow in the apparatus of power in North Korea, but in my opinion not to such an extent that a woman heads this apparatus – notes Dr. Pietrewicz. – Being a leader in North Korea means being at the head of the army, intelligence, business, very strongly masculinized environments. Kim Jong Un graduated from a military academy earlier, for example, just to give him versatile influence and authority in various environments – he explains.

The PISM expert admits, however, that the public appearance of the dictator’s daughter is intriguing. – Kim Jong Un differs from his father and grandfather in that women began to appear more often in public. His sister often appears, his wife is regularly shown, which was not the case with previous leaders, and now also his daughter, he notes. According to unconfirmed reports, Kim Dzu Ae was also an infant who in 2013 during a propaganda visit to North Korea allowed to be picked up by former NBA star Dennis Rodman. – Rodman then became closer to the regime, especially since it was a very party visit, heavily drunk with alcohol – admits Dr. Oskar Pietrewicz.

SEE ALSO: Rodman disgraced Kim Jong Un? “He was always drunk to death”

North Korea’s ‘clever, brazen plan’

According to the expert, the real reason for showing Kim Jong Un’s child in public for the first time is different from indicating his successor. – It is a strong internal message that North Korea is strengthening its nuclear deterrent and its nuclear capabilities. That the work of the current regime is to serve all Koreans and must be taken over by their children, he explains. – This is to show that the current North Korea is being built for future generations, that both men and women will be safe in it. Therefore, showing the daughter has a symbolic meaning – he adds.

Oskar Pietrewicz supposes that there may also be a hidden meaning to the whole case. “It may also be that showing this daughter is a cunning, brazen plan by the North Korean authorities to draw undue attention to it, and their actual intention is completely different,” he says. “North Korea likes to act on the principle of doing things secretly, while at the same time directing the world’s attention in a completely different, wrong direction,” emphasizes the expert.

If Kim Jzu Ae is not the future leader of North Korea, who is? Even less is known about the other children of the current dictator than about this girl. Kim Jong Un has three children, at least one of whom is a boy, according to intelligence reports. However, they have never been shown in public, and it is not even clear how old they are.

Dr. Oskar Pietrewicz points out that “so far there is no established way to identify a successor in North Korea.” “Current leader Kim Jong Un was first publicly shown in 2010 as the likely successor,” he recalls. “His father, Kim Jong Il, appeared in public for a while when he was still competing for power with his brother, only later was it revealed which of them would be the next dictator,” he says. The choice itself is made secretly “in a very narrow circle associated with the current leader.” – Only later does the long-term process of formal transfer of power to the new dictator begin – the expert points out.

SEE ALSO: Kim Jong Un reshuffled the military structures, the most important official after him fired

Main photo source: KCNA/PAP/EPA

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