North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw a test of Pyongyang’s newest intercontinental ballistic missile with his daughter in tow for the first time, state media reported Saturday.
Declaring he would meet perceived US nuclear threats with nukes of his own, he supervised the launch on Friday of a vast black-and-white missile, which the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said was the Hwasong-17, dubbed the “monster missile” by analysts.
The launch of the “new-type ICBM” was successful, KCNA said, adding that the “test-fire clearly proved the reliability of the new major strategic weapon system.”
KCNA said Kim attended the launch “together with his beloved daughter and wife”; the report did not name the girl, who is seen in photographs in a white puffy coat holding hands with her father as they look at the massive missile.
It is extremely rare for state media to mention Kim’s children, and this was the first official confirmation that he had a daughter, experts said.
Much of Kim’s private life is still unknown. But South Korean media reported Kim married Ri, a former singer, in 2009, and that the couple have three children who were born in 2010, 2013 and 2017.
In 2013 retired American basketball star Dennis Rodman said Kim had a “baby” daughter named Ju Ae. After a trip to North Korea that year, Rodman told The Guardian newspaper that he spent time with Kim and his family, and held the baby.