In Photos: Kim Jong Un Oversees As North Korea Test Fires New ICBM KCNA VIA KNS via AFP / STR

The daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made another public appearance, this time with missile scientists and more honorific titles as her father’s “most beloved” or “precious” child. Her appearance has led experts to speculate that she may succeed her father. The supreme leader’s daughter, Kim Ju Ae, is believed to be his second child and is said to be just 9 or 10 years old.

She was first seen in the public a week ago in state media photos of her and her father, observing the North’s new intercontinental ballistic missile, alongside other officials. During this event, both father and daughter could be seen walking hand-in-hand as she wore a white puffy coat and red shoes.

Her second appearance was in stark contrast to the previous, as she appeared to be more mature. According to Associated Press, photos released by North Korea’s state media showed Jun Ae sporting a long black coat as she posed for a group photo with her father alongside nuclear missile scientists and officials.

The Korean Central News Agency described her with more reverence and honor than her previous title simply being Kim’s “beloved” child. More photos showed the father-daughter pair posing for a picture in the middle of a line of soldiers before a massive missile atop a launch truck. Others showed Kim’s daughter clapping her hands, talking with her father as a crowd cheers them in the background, and another that showed an exchange of handshakes with a soldier.

Ankit Panda, an expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the recent public appearances of Kim’s daughter alongside her father, maybe a sign that the leader is looking to lay the foreground for Jun Ae as his potential successor. This can be depicted in the way her appearances have been celebrated by scientists and other officials.

“State media underscoring her father’s love for her further underscores this, I think,” said Panda. He added that both of Jun Ae’s public appearances were in the context of observing nuclear weapons, which are considered to be the country's crown jewels. “That doesn’t strike me as coincidental,” Panda added.

Kim is said to have three children, including a son as well, although there has been no official mention of him or a supposed third child. This has caused experts to scratch their heads as to why, North Korea, a society that has been primarily governed by a male leader, would consider having a woman succeed as its next leader.

File footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
File footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is shown on a television screen at a train station in Seoul on September 9, 2022, after North Korea passed a law allowing it to carry out a preventive nuclear strike and declaring its status as a nuclear-armed state "irreversible", state media said Friday. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

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