Kim attended the parade with daughter Ju Ae, who was also seen at a banquet the night before


  • North Korean residents reportedly secretly resent Kim Ju Ae for her healthy appearance and expensive clothes
  • A resident claimed that Kim Jong Un's daughter's clothing were influenced by capitalist culture
  • South Korea's unification minister downplayed speculation that Ju Ae will succeed her father

Despite being labeled by state-owned media as a "beloved child," the public debut of the 10-year-old daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was met with a feeling of animosity among the North Korean public.

North Korean citizens harbor secret resentment over the healthy appearance of Kim's daughter, Kim Ju Ae, as residents of the secluded country suffer from food insecurity and widespread poverty, United States government-funded non-profit news service Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported, citing unnamed sources in the country.

Residents of North Korea's South Pyongan province compared Ju Ae's appearance to the skinny children who live in their neighborhoods, one source there told RFA's Korean Service on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

"They are angry to see the plump white face of the Beloved Child appearing so often in propaganda," the North Korean was quoted as saying by RFA. "They say that she looks so different than the children of the common people, who cannot even eat three meals a day due to a lack of food."

The North Korean resident also pointed out the hypocrisy of letting Ju Ae appear in public in expensive clothes influenced by capitalist culture. The source said North Korean authorities punish teenagers for growing their hair long or following fashion trends.

A North Korean living in the North Pyongan province also told RFA that they were "angry" that Ju Ae is "showing up on TV in her fancy clothes so often" while most of the country's population goes hungry.

"The people are saying things like, 'She must be eating so well, her face is so white and plump like the moon,'" the unnamed resident said. "Most people aren't able to eat properly so their cheekbones stick out from their faces even more than ever before."

North Korea's observers see the frequent public appearances of Ju Ae as possible groundwork for her to be named her father's successor.

However, South Korea's Unification Minister Kwon Young Se downplayed such speculations.

"Even if North Korea creates a succession structure from now on, questions remain as to whether a woman will be able to lead the military-centered North Korean regime," Kwon said on CBS Radio Tuesday.

The South Korean official argued that the North's culture is still patriarchal and male-centered. Kwon added that Kim is still relatively young at 40 years old compared to other world leaders, so a successor is likely not a priority at the moment.

North Korean expert Ken Gause of the U.S.-based think tank Center for Naval Analyses suggested to RFA that Kim is playing a long game in a bid to normalize his daughter's gender and clear the path for Ju Ae's possible ascension to power in the future.

The existence of Kim's daughter was first revealed in 2013 when former NBA star player Dennis Rodman visited North Korea.

Ju Ae appeared in public for the first time in November 2022, when she joined her father during a nuclear missile launch exercise at Pyongyang International Airport. The event marked the first time North Korea's state media mentioned her and released photos of her along with Kim.

Since then, Kim's daughter became more visible to the public by attending military events and interacting with senior commanders.

Ju Ae's most recent public appearance was over the weekend when North Korea launched military drills to showcase the country's capability to deter attacks from the U.S. and South Korea.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un oversees a missile launch at an undisclosed location in North Korea