SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) -- The daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who has been seen in public may be his first child and she may be one of the "candidates" who could inherit his power, the head of a state-run think tank specialized in North Korea said Friday.
The remarks by Koh Yu-hwan, head of the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, were compared with an assessment by South Korea's spy agency, which told lawmakers that the daughter, Ju-ae, is Kim's second child.
The National Intelligence Service has said Kim is believed to have three children and there is intelligence that his first child is a son, with the gender of the third one being unknown.
"Personally, I think there is a high possibility that Ju-ae may be the first child of (Kim Jong-un)," Koh told reporters without disclosing the grounds for his claim.
He said it is too early to say that Ju-ae has been groomed as a successor to the current leader, but he thinks she appears to be among "candidates" of the next leader.
Ju-ae, believed to be 10 years old, has shown up at military events since her first public appearance in November last year, when she attended the firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile, along with her father.
Despite her frequent appearance in state media, many observers see the possibility of Ju-ae becoming a hereditary successor as low, given the North's patriarchal society and the rumored existence of an eldest son among Kim's children.