The daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been revealed to the world in her first public appearance
Seoul, South Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the launch of a “new type” intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday, along with his young daughter, whose existence has not been previously confirmed.
Striking photos released by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) appear to show Kim arm-in-arm with a girl, as an ICBM sits on its mobile launch pad nearby.
KCNA claimed the “new” missile they saw was a Hwasong-17 and said it was launched from Pyongyang International Airport, flying a distance of 999.2 kilometers (621 miles).
Japan warned after Friday’s launch that the new missile appeared to have the potential range to reach the United States mainland.
Kim said the aim of the test was to “clearly demonstrate” his country’s ability to respond to what he said were “war exercises of hysterical aggression by enemies who want to destroy peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” according to a KCNA report.
“Kim Jong Un solemnly declared that if the enemies continue to pose threats to the DPRK, often introducing nuclear strike means, our party and government will resolutely respond to nuclear attacks with nuclear weapons and to full confrontation with all-out confrontation,” KCNA said.
Friday’s launch, which landed about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of the Japanese island of Oshima, according to Japanese officials, was not the first time North Korea had fired an ICBM that experts and officials said could theoretically reach the U.S. a.
Friday’s missile was shorter in height and distance compared to Pyongyang’s March 24 missile test, which recorded the highest altitude and longest duration of any North Korean missile ever tested, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a report. time. That missile reached an altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers (3,905 miles) and flew a distance of 1,090 kilometers (681 miles), KCNA reported.
And in 2017, then US Defense Secretary James Mattis said that a missile launched by North Korea that year had demonstrated the ability to hit “everything in the world”.
Despite the missile’s theoretical range, Pyongyang’s ability to put a nuclear warhead on it and deliver it to a target remains unproven.
Ballistic missiles are fired into space before coming back down to Earth. Experts have yet to see convincing evidence that North Korea can get a warhead to successfully re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.
Kim’s threats to the US and South Korea were also nothing new.
After a missile test in October, North Korean leader warned opponents that his nuclear forces were fully prepared for “real war”.
“Our nuclear combat forces … have again proven their full readiness for real war to bring the enemies under their control,” Kim said in a KCNA report.
Very little is known about the private life of Kim Jong Un or his family.
Saturday’s report did not name Kim’s daughter, who appeared in state media for the first time. But in 2013, former basketball star Dennis Rodman told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that Kim had a “baby” named “Ju Ae.”
Rodman said spent time with the family, describing Kim as a “good dad” and that he spoke with Kim’s wife, Ri Sol Ju.
“I held their baby Ju Ae and also talked to Ms. Ri,” he told the newspaper.
Speculation arose in 2012 that Ri might be pregnant after a photo published by state media showed her wearing a long coat that could have hidden a bump. But the North Korean authorities have kept quiet about it.
State media did not announce the wedding of Kim and Ri until July 2012about three years after South Korean intelligence officials believe the wedding took place.
But that changed in 2018, when North Korean state media gave her the new title of “respected first lady,” a step up from the previously used “comrade” and a sign, according to analysts, that she is coming into her own. cult.
Kim and Ri did three children together, according to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS).
North Korea has been ruled as a hereditary dictatorship since its founding in 1948 by Kim Il Sung. His son, Kim Jong Il, took over after his father’s death in 1994. And Kim Jong Un took over 17 years later when Kim Jong Il died.
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