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Years before North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s daughter, Ju-ae, made her first public appearance in November 2022, there were several indications of her existence.
She first made her presence known to the outside world while still in the womb, when South Korean media in 2012 reported that Kim’s wife, Ri Sol-ju, appeared to be pregnant. This report was later confirmed the next year, when former NBA star Dennis Rodman visited the hermit kingdom and told the world that the couple had a newborn named Ju-ae.
The National Intelligence Service believes that she is the second of three children, although the names of her siblings are currently unknown. While it was initially thought that she was the firstborn in the Kim family -- given that 2012 was the first time Ri was observed to be pregnant -- the South Korean intelligence agency now believes that she has an older brother.
As a totalitarian dictatorship, North Korea treats its first family like royals. Last month, it was reported that the communist state is pressuring female citizens with the name of Ju-ae to change their names.
Unlike her father, who studied in Switzerland, Seoul intelligence says Ju-ae appears to be homeschooled in Pyongyang. The 10-year-old continues to make public appearances alongside her father, fueling speculations about whether Kim Jong-un will become the first North Korean dictator to hand over the reins of the country to a daughter.