Kim Jong Un Spotted With His Daughter, Raising Speculation

( Last Tuesday, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un attended a banquet at a military base with his young daughter, prompting speculation that he could be grooming the child as his eventual successor, CNN reported.

Believed to be Kim’s second child, Ju Ae, believed to be about 9 or 10 years old, attended the event along with her mother Ri Sol Ju to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army. The following day, Ju Ae appeared with her father again in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung square as intercontinental ballistic missiles paraded past.

The Kim family has ruled North Korea since 1948 when Kim Il Sung rose to power following the Second World War. When he died in 1994, he was succeeded by his son Kim Jong Il. After Kim Jong Il died in December 2011, Kim Jong Un came to power.

During Tuesday’s banquet, Kim delivered a speech praising the North Korean military. Without making the usual saber-rattling remarks about South Korea or the United States, Kim called for the country to “redouble efforts” to “strengthen and develop our army” while achieving the “prosperity and development” of North Korea.

The Washington Post, which described Ju Ae as Kim’s “heir apparent,” noted that the formal photographs taken at last Tuesday’s dinner featured Ju Ae seated prominently in “a spot usually reserved for the leader himself.”

According to North Korean leadership expert Cheong Seong-chang from Seoul’s Sejong Institute, the presentation of Ju Ae at a high-profile media event shows an “active push” from Pyongyang to elevate her public profile.

Cheong told the Washington Post there is no question that Ju Ae “has been chosen as Kim Jong Un’s successor.”

Kim Jong Un was presented to the military as Kim Jong Il’s successor when he was only 8 years old, according to the Washington Post.

In November, Ju Ae made her first public appearance when she accompanied Kim to a missile launch site.