With Kim Jong-un’s daughter (Ju-ae, at least according to the South Korean government) continuing to accompany her father to major events, ordinary North Koreans have become curious about whether she will succeed her father or not. A reporting partner in North Hamgyung Province provided the following report. (KANG Ji-won)
◆ High-level cadres show respect to daughter, who is referred to in state media as the “Respected Daughter”
Recently, Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Workers’ Party of Korea, has repeatedly published photos of Kim Jong-un being accompanied by his daughter at important events. She was seen with her father alongside high-level military officials on a visit to the country’s Naval Command on August 29, and the newspaper referred to her in respectful terms in regards to her attendance at a military parade held on September 9 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the DPRK. Specifically, the newspaper said that the event “featured the Dear Comrade Kim Jong-un and the Respected Daughter…”
The reporting partner gave their perspective of the continuous coverage of Kim and his daughter:
“People are curious why he’s bringing his daughter to events. Rumors that she is a ‘genius’ are spreading. It would in fact be strange for his daughter to become a general, but people are curious whether [the regime] really plans to have [the daughter] become Kim’s successor.”
◆ Several people arrested for claiming that “the era of a female leader has arrived”
With Kim’s daughter increasingly making an appearance in domestic media outlets, North Koreans are more frequently talking about what it all means. In late August, an incident related to the growing coverage of Kim’s daughter occurred in Musan County, details of which were conveyed by the reporting partner:
“Members of the Youth League were carelessly talking about the daughter while having drinks, and this led several people to be called into the Ministry of State Security. The group included a former soldier, two women in their 20s, and another man, and they said, ‘Women will get stronger. We will receive consideration from a female Suryong (Supreme Leader).’ These comments caused an issue and all four were called into the Ministry of State Security and are currently under investigation.”
According to multiple ASIAPRESS reporting partners, the government has not told people that Kim’s daughter is named “Ju-ae,” and they confirmed that they had never heard the name even through rumors. They also said that they had never heard of anyone already named “Ju-ae” to be forced to change their name.
※ ASIAPRESS communicates with reporting partners through Chinese cell phones smuggled into North Korea.
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