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Girl seen at N. Korea's ICBM test launch deemed leader Kim's second child: spy agency

14:30 November 22, 2022

SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- A recently revealed daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is believed to be his second child, Kim Ju-ae, a ruling party lawmaker quoted South Korea's state intelligence agency as saying Tuesday.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency revealed the girl Saturday as it released photos of her accompanying the leader on his visit to oversee the country's launch of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) the previous day.

The photos showed the girl, dressed in a white puffer jacket, holding Kim's hand as they walked in front of the missile on a launch truck. The KCNA said Kim made the visit "together with his beloved daughter and wife" but gave no other details.

On Tuesday, the National Intelligence Service briefed lawmakers that the girl is Kim's second child.

"The NIS has confirmed they believe the daughter who accompanied Kim during the ICBM launch is his second child, Kim Ju-ae," Rep. Yoo Sang-beom of the ruling People Power Party told reporters after the closed-door briefing.

"There had been some suspicions because she is a little big for a 10-year-old, but the NIS confirmed that they determined she is Kim Ju-ae because existing intelligence also had it that she is tall and big," the lawmaker said.

North Korea has never confirmed the existence of Kim's children. South Korean intelligence speculated Kim and his wife married in 2009 and have two daughters and one son, born in 2010, 2013 and 2017.

The lawmaker said the spy agency views the disclosure, marking her first official appearance in state media, as the North's display of its firm commitment to security for future generations.

On views that the North may carry out its seventh nuclear test, Yoo said the possibility is high as its goal is to complete the development of nuclear weapons and missiles.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) stands next to his daughter to watch the launch of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov. 18, 2022, in this photo captured from the North's Korean Central Television on Nov. 20. It marks her first public appearance in state media. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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