The Hamilton Spectator
Leader brings his daughter to visit troops
Parades show new military hardware
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un brought his daughter to visit troops to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the country’s army as he lauded the “irresistible might” of his nuclear-armed military, state media said Wednesday.
The visit preceded a massive military parade that apparently began Wednesday night in the capital, Pyongyang, where Kim was expected to showcase the latest hardware of his fast-growing nuclear weapons program that stokes the concern of its neighbours and the United States.
Two South Korean officials said the parade likely kicked off around 9 p.m.
They didn’t provide further details and it wasn’t immediately clear whether Kim was attending.
North Korean military parades are closely watched by outside governments and experts as they often feature newly developed weapons systems the North intends to eventually test and deploy.
In her fourth known public appearance, Kim’s daughter, Kim Ju Ae, believed to be nine or 10 years old, stood close to her father as he shook the hands of senior officials and then sat next to him at a table.
Analysts say Kim’s decision to bring his daughter to public events tied to his military is to remind the world he has no intention to voluntarily surrender his nuclear weapons, which he apparently sees as the strongest guarantee of his survival and the extension of his family’s dynastic rule.
State media’s lofty description of Kim Ju Ae, who has been called “respected” and “beloved,” has also inspired debate on whether she’s being primed as her father’s successor.