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North Korea’s Future: Will A Female Finally Take The Lead?

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un was spotted alongside his daughter Kim Ju Ae
Rodong Sinmun utilizes the term “Lodestar”
Speculations arise about the future leader of North Korea

Source: KBS News

Once again, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un was seen with his daughter, Kim Ju Ae.

The North Korean state-run newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, reported on the 16th that Secretary Kim Jong Un attended the inauguration ceremony of a greenhouse farm and supervised a training session with airborne troops alongside his daughter, Kim Ju Ae.

On this occasion, the media referred to Kim Ju Ae as a “lodestar” for the first time.

Source: KBS News

The term “lodestar” has long symbolized the concept of “indicating the direction to follow” and has been a recurring theme within the Kim family. In 1990, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea, North Korea inscribed the words ‘Star of Juche’s Guidance, Kim Jong Il’ onto the rocks outside Mount Kumgang. In 2011, they urged loyalty to Kim Jong Un’s successor system during the “Young Guards Total Mobilization Conference,” saying, “Let us fight with the heartbeat of the Party’s ‘guidance’ in our steps, carrying the belief to complete the revolutionary cause of Juche with the bloodline of Mount Baekdu.”

In this context, North Korean experts explained it as “strongly suggesting that Kim Ju Ae will emerge as the next leader of North Korea, following in the footsteps of Kim Jong Un.”

Source: KBS News

Kim Ju-ae has accompanied Secretary Kim’s military activities since the end of 2022. She also stood side by side with her father, wearing a leather coat, considered a symbol of power.

When she first appeared, North Korean media used expressions such as ‘beloved child’ and ‘noble’ for Kim Ju Ae. Then, on November 23rd of last year, Chosun Central TV said about Kim Ju Ae, who appeared at a lecture event celebrating the launch of the military reconnaissance satellite Manrikyung-1, “The future of the space power era will shine even more by the ‘rising star of Korea,’ the female general.”

In North Korea, a star signifies the supreme leader, so it can be seen that they have officially designated Kim Ju Ae as the successor.

The Ministry of Unification responded by acknowledging, “We are now considering the possibility that Kim Ju Ae has been nominated as the successor.” Previously, the position held was, “It’s too early to affirm her nomination as the successor.”

Even with the ‘lodestar’ expression this time, the Ministry of Unification stressed, “Taking into consideration the portrayal and expressions surrounding Kim Ju Ae in North Korea’s official media, we cannot overlook the potential for her succession. Nonetheless, we are cautious and closely monitoring the situation.”

Source: KBS News

Meanwhile, while many speculate that Kim Ju-ae is the eldest daughter, the assertion that a son precedes Kim Ju Ae persists.

In a report last month, the British tabloid Daily Mail cited a former National Intelligence Service agent named ‘Choi Soo-young,’ who claimed, “A son is preceding Ju Ae, but his existence has not been disclosed to the public due to his small stature.”

According to Choi’s account, Secretary Kim’s son contrasts starkly with his plump and well-fed father and sister; he possesses a pale and slender physique and bears no resemblance to his great-grandfather, Kim Il Sung.

There is currently speculation that Secretary Kim Jong Un was lean in his youth but had to intentionally gain weight to emulate the appearance of Kim Il Sung.

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