North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the Friday, November 18 launch of his “monster missile”the Hwasong-17, with his daughter appearing in public for the first time, state agency KCNA revealed on Saturday.
The leader threatened on Saturday to use the atomic bomb in the event of a nuclear attack against his country. He oversaw the launch of his latest intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday, “with success”, according to KCNA. This “Test firing clearly proved the reliability of the new major strategic weapons system”the state media added.
Extremely rare, KCNA – the only source of information from Pyongyang – mentioned the family of Kim Jong Un, stressing that the leader had gone to the launch accompanied by his “woman and (of his) beloved daughter”. He first appeared alongside a young girl whose age is not specified, dressed in a white down jacket and red shoes. This is the first official confirmation of the existence of Kim Jong Un’s daughter, according to experts.
Friday’s latest launch confirms “that once again the nuclear forces of the DPRK have reached a new reliable maximum capacity to contain any nuclear threat”adds KCNA, using the acronym of the official name of North Korea.
The United States, South Korea and Japan have intensified joint military maneuvers in recent months since Kim Jong Un declared in September that North Korea’s nuclear state status was “irreversible”. Seoul and Washington notably conducted the largest joint air exercises in their history in late October and early November.
According to Soo Kim, a former analyst with the US intelligence agency CIA, Friday’s launch is a testament to “the permanence of the Kim regime’s weapons program, as it is integral to its own survival and the continuity of its family’s rule”. “It even partly answers questions surrounding the succession”added to AFP this analyst, today at the RAND Corporation. “We saw with our own eyes the fourth generation of Kims. And his daughter – as well as other potential siblings – will certainly be groomed by her father.”she noted.