New signs suggest Kim Jong-un’s daughter is likely North Korea’s next Supreme Leader 

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulDec 28, 2023 | 15:39

New signs suggest Kim Jong-un’s daughter is likely North Korea’s next Supreme Leader 

Fresh evidence all but confirms Kim Jong Un's daughter, Kim Ju Ae, might just be the next Supreme Leader of North Korea. Is the country's long standing patriarchal line of power seemingly making a shift towards dynastic socialism through a potentially feminist lens?


The evolving narrative surrounding the Supreme Leader’s daughter suggests a potential shift in the North Korean leadership dynamics, with growing indications that she might be the designated heir to the Supreme Leader. 

Photo: Getty Images

Referred to as the "General Morning Star" in state-controlled media and by Kim Jong Un himself, this new title appears to be a promotion from her previous designation as the "Noble Child."

Prodigal child

The public introduction of Kim Ju Ae at a missile launch in November 2022, when she was around 10 years old, marked a significant moment. Since then, she has been a visible presence alongside her father in numerous public engagements, a stark contrast to the lack of acknowledgement of Kim Jong Un's first-born, a believed son of around 13 years.

Photo: Getty Images
  • The Director of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, Cho Tae-yong, has publicly stated his belief that Kim Ju Ae is being groomed for succession. 
  • This perspective contradicts earlier claims by the same agency that Kim Jong Un, at 39 years old, was deemed too young and healthy to consider succession plans.
  •  The move to elevate Kim Ju Ae's status to the forefront of North Korean state affairs is seen by some as an indication of Kim Jong Un's intent for succession.

Sibling rivalry

The rise of Kim Jong Un's daughter raises questions about the future leadership of North Korea, potentially at the expense of Kim's once-powerful sister, Yo Jong. Despite Yo Jong's previous role in supporting her brother, her absence from recent prominent events suggests a shifting focus towards Kim Ju Ae. The situation has led to speculation about Yo Jong's fate, with the possibility that her future may depend on her brother's health.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons


The notion of Kim Ju Ae becoming the Supreme Leader has sparked discussions not only within North Korea but also in neighboring South Korea. 

  • A parliamentary committee meeting in South Korea has been convened to discuss the belief that Kim Ju Ae is being primed as the North's next leader. 
  • This speculation is further reinforced by reports that North Korean females named Ju Ae are being advised to change their names, signaling a potential singular identity for the future Supreme Leader.
Photo: Getty Images

Skeptics persist

Despite all the buzz, South Korean officials can't help but express their skepticism. Unification Minister Kwon Youngse doubts the North would break with tradition and choose a woman to inherit power.

Despite the recent rise of Kim Jong Un's daughter, historical precedent and prevailing gender norms in North Korea raise questions about the likelihood of a woman inheriting power in the regime that has been exclusively led by the men of the Kim family since its foundation in 1948.

Last updated: December 28, 2023 | 15:39
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