Kim Jong-un’s mysterious daughter could have been portrayed for the first time and identified as a girl who appears alongside a tyrant in a recent stage show.
The girl – who has been tentatively identified by experts as Kim Ju – appeared at the kingdom’s National Day festivities earlier this month.
She was one of several children performing a song for Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju.
But something about her in particular stood out to experts.
Writing under the pseudonym Samhero, an analyst at the InDPRK blog noted how Ri Sol-ju reached this particular girl at the end of the show.
She places her hand on the child’s back and is seen talking to her in person, only interrupted when she needs to move another girl away from her husband’s path.
And when the other kids gather around Kim Jong-un, they jump with excitement, she seems calmer, even pulling on another girl’s arm to restrain her when she follows him closely.
Kim’s basketball legend Dennis Rodman confirmed that the dictator had a daughter, describing her to the West as newborn Jo Ae after a visit to North Korea in 2013.
That would make the girl 9 or 10 years old – which matches the kid in the new video.
She is understood to be the middle child of Kim, with the governor and his wife having their first child in 2010 and their third child in 2017.
NK analyst Samhiro saw more clues during the actual performance itself: The camera focuses on her when he starts singing, and it stays for several seconds, before returning to it over and over again.
Meanwhile, her looks also stand out – she’s the only girl in her hair, and the only one in white socks.
On top of that, the Kims seem pretty invested in the performance – at one point, the camera cuts straight from the cheery First Family to a close-up shot of the girl.
Sometimes we can even catch a glimpse of the tyrant’s sister, Kim Yoo Jung, apparently wiping away tears.
Others note that the girl performed only once, when the tyrant was present – apparently missing a recurring performance the following night.
Michael Madden, an expert on North Korea’s elite, said Kim’s daughter would be the same age as the girl in question.
“She will be close to 10 in 2022 which is about the age of the girl shown in government media footage,” he said.
He added that Ri Sol-ju herself appeared on several TV shows before she was ever recognized as part of the first family.
“Madame Ri has appeared on North Korean television on several occasions as a singer, and sometimes as a soloist, at concerts,” he said.
“These appearances occurred prior to her identification in July 2012 as Kim Jong Un’s wife.”
But he stressed that making his daughter too public may carry risks for Kim.
“When Kim Jong Un was a child and a teenager, he was kept away from all North Korean elites who had close family or personal ties with his father,” Madden said.
“North Korean elites cannot interact with him or his brothers without his father’s approval.
Potential opponents among the North Korean elites, if they were aware of the identities of the leader’s children, could represent a weak point.
Rather than fomenting a coup or rebellion against the political leadership, children could be kidnapped or abused as a way to gain influence over the leader.
“This applied to Kim Jong-un when he was growing up and could well apply to his children.”
“This dynamic reduces the likelihood that his children will be allowed to appear on state television, among other things,” he added.
Madden, a fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. who also directs the leadership position in North Korea, explained that there are likely to be many more Kim children as well.
Kim Ju-ae’s existence was confirmed by basketball star Dennis Rodman who visited Kim Jong-un in 2013, but other rumors have long been circulating.
Madden said: “Current intelligence rumors about Kim Jong Un’s children say he has three children, two daughters and one son.
However, the information he feeds on about his children is contradictory and speculative.
“Some information about their children derives from observing state media images showing Madame Ray while pregnant.”
North Korea’s ruling regime is known for its silence on its first family.
Kim Jong-un himself was not introduced until 2010, a year before the death of his father and predecessor, Kim Jong-il.
There is also growing speculation that the mysterious woman who was recently seen tracking the dictator is his half-sister, Kim Sol Sung.
But it was also said that she could be a pop star turned assistant who once played in the popular North Korean band Moranbong Band.