Succession Speculations: South Korea Eyes Kim Jong Un's Daughter for Leadership Role

Succession Speculations: South Korea Eyes Kim Jong Un's Daughter for Leadership Role

Seoul - South Korea's intelligence agency informed lawmakers on Thursday that Kim Jong Un's young daughter, a frequent presence at her father's public events, is the most likely successor in the event of his death.

While North Korea has not disclosed personal details about the daughter, identified by South Korean officials as Kim Ju Ae, she gained attention as a baby when retired NBA star Dennis Rodman mentioned holding her during a meeting with Kim in Pyongyang in 2013.

The North's state media has referred to her as a "most beloved" or "respected" child of Kim, often depicting high-ranking officials kneeling before her. This has fueled speculation that she is being groomed as Kim's heir.

The South Korean National Intelligence Agency, in an assessment released through a member of the National Assembly, cautiously acknowledged Kim Ju Ae as the most likely successor. However, they emphasized considering "all possibilities" in North Korea's succession plan, citing numerous variables. Despite Kim Jong Un's young age, turning 40 on Monday, and no known serious health issues, the agency remained cautious.

In a New Year's Eve celebration, Kim was televised hugging and kissing his daughter on the cheek. At around 10 years old, Ju Ae's age led analysts to caution that it's too early to predict whether she will develop the ruthless leadership qualities demonstrated by her father through a series of purges, including the execution of his uncle and the assassination of his half-brother.

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