North Korean leader Kim Jong Un brought his daughter along while overseeing Pyongyang's latest launch of an ICBM


  • South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Youngse said North Korea is still patriarchal
  • Kim Jong Un reportedly wants to show his interest in transferring power to his children
  • North Korea allegedly forced residents who share the name of Kim's daughter to change their names

South Korea downplayed speculations that Kim Ju Ae, the 10-year-old daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is being groomed as her father's successor.

South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Youngse dismissed the idea that Kim's daughter is being prepared to take the helm of North Korea's leadership in the future.

Kwon argued that the North Korean leader is still relatively young at 39 years old, and men dominate the communist country's leadership, NBC News reported.

"There are views that (her appearances) are aimed at talking about a hereditary power transition. But considering Kim Jong Un's age and the fact that North Korea has a much more patriarchal nature than ours, there are also lots of questions about whether North Korea having a woman (prepared to) inherit power now is indeed right," Kwon told a parliamentary committee meeting in the South Korean capital of Seoul.

Duyeon Kim, a senior analyst at the Center for a New American Security, echoed Kwon's remark, saying it is "too soon" to assume that the young girl would be Kim's successor, noting that in the past, the son has always been the heir to the throne.

According to South Korea's National Intelligence Service, the young girl was Kim's second child. It also suggested that Kim brought his daughter to public events to show his interest in handing over his power to one of his children in the future.

However, they assessed that the younger Kim's public appearances didn't mean she would take over her father's position.

Kim's young daughter went public when North Korea announced that she joined her father to watch an intercontinental ballistic missile test in November.

Since then, Kim and his daughter have been photographed attending parades and official events with North Korea's top military officials and visiting military facilities.

North Korean state media called her their leader's "most beloved" or "respected" child.

Earlier this week, North Korea's state-run Korea Stamp Corporation unveiled stamps showcasing Kim Ju Ae following the missile test she attended.

The stamps showed Kim and his daughter holding hands together and posing for pictures in front of a wall of North Korean soldiers.

North Korea has also embarked on forcing residents who share the same name as Ju Ae to change theirs, Fox News reported, citing a report from Radio Free Asia.

"The Ministry of Safety's resident registration department called the girl's parents to the Ministry of Safety and forced her to change her name and change her birth certificate," a source told Radio Free Asia.

Another source revealed that the Pyongsong City Security Department ordered women who use the name of the North Korean leader's daughter to change it within the week.

Since the founding of North Korea in 1948, three men from the Kim family have served as leaders of the secluded country.

Kim Il-Sung, the current North Korean leader's grandfather, was the first to take the helm until he died in 1994. His son, Kim Jong-il, took over the leadership until he died in 2011, pushing the current leader to assume power.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un oversaw a major military parade showcasing his most advanced weaponry