North Korean Supreme Leader kim jong unvisited a military barracks with her daughter on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), state media reported today.
Kim went to the facility, the exact location of which was not disclosed, on Tuesday along with his daughter, whose name is believed to be Kim Ju-aeand delivered a short speech at a banquet held on the occasion of the visit, the KCNA news agency explained.
The visit came amid indications that North Korea prepares to stage a grand military parade in the capital Pyongyangin which he could show off the latest equipment in a growing nuclear weapons program that is fueling concern among his neighbors and the United States.
The North Korean leader called North Korean troops “the most powerful in the world” during a brief speech at the banquet, though he made no mention of South Korea or the US at a time of rising tension on the peninsula.
Both he and his daughter wore black suits during the act.
In its fourth known public appearanceKim’s daughter Kim Ju-aeabout 9 or 10 years old, stood by his father as he shook hands with senior officials and sat next to him at a table.
Analysts say Kim’s decision to bring his daughter to public events related to his military is to remind the world that he has no intention of voluntarily giving up his nuclear weapons, which he apparently sees as the best guarantee of his survival and prolongation. of the dynastic domain of his family.
The elevated description that the state media make of Kim Ju-ae, whom they have described as “respected” and “dear”, has also inspired the debate about whether she is being groomed as her father’s successor. He attended an intercontinental ballistic missile flight test in November and has accompanied him to a meeting with military scientists and a ballistic missile inspection.
The visit came a day after Kim chaired a meeting with his top military commanders and called for an expansion of combat exercises aimed at sharpening war-readiness as he seeks to intensify an already provocative race of weapons demonstrations in the face of worsening warfare. tensions with its neighbors and Washington.
State media photos showed military officers applauding at the banquet, which was reportedly held at Pyongyang’s Yanggakdo Hotel. Kim and his daughter were equally dressed in black suits and white dress shirts and held hands as they walked down a red carpet with Kim’s wife, Ri Sol Ju.
During his speech, Kim said it was his “greatest honor” and pleasure to be the supreme commander of an army that is “fulfilling (the) call of the times and history as the strongest army in the world”.
State media reports on Kim’s visit to the troops did not mention any comments toward Washington or Seoul. But Pyongyang’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in an editorial on Wednesday that the North’s army is prepared to unleash a “super-strong attack of unimaginable power to erase the origins of provocations without trace” when faced with enemy threats.
The North Korean regime commemorates every February 8 the official establishment of the KPA in 1948, although it also celebrates every April 25 the formation, in 1932, of the guerrilla led by Kim Il-sung, grandfather of the current leader and founder of the country, to combat to Japanese forces, which colonized the Korean Peninsula between 1910 and 1945.
Pyongyang residents celebrated the anniversary by visiting the city’s Mansu Hill to lay flowers and pay respects to statues of their late leaders, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, their ruler’s grandfather and father respectively, as soldiers lined up. to greet.
The regime is expected to hold a grand parade in Pyongyang today to commemorate the anniversary.
After an absence of about 40 days, Kim Jong-un appeared in public on Monday to preside over a major meeting of the Central Military Commission (CMC) in which he called for “expanding and intensifying” war operations and exercises.
In 2022 Pyongyang carried out around fifty missile launches, a record number, in many cases in response to the military tests carried out by Seoul and Washington, which has led to a new spiral of tension on the peninsula.
The intensified testing activity was punctuated by fiery statements threatening pre-emptive nuclear strikes against its neighbors and the United States in a wide range of scenarios in which it could perceive its leadership as threatened.
Animosity could rise in the coming months if Kim doubles down on his nuclear bet ahead of 2023.
During a major political conference in December, Kim called for an “exponential increase” in the country’s nuclear warheads, the mass production of tactical battlefield nuclear weapons directed against “enemy” South Korea, and the development of ballistic missiles. most powerful intercontinental missiles that can reach the continental United States.
Aside from development tests, North Korea could also step up its military demonstrations in response to expanding combined US-South Korean military exercises, which the allies say are aimed at countering the growing threat from the North.
Last week, North Korea’s foreign ministry warned that the country was prepared to counter US military moves with the “most overwhelming nuclear force,” while condemning US plans to expand its joint exercises with South Korea and deploy more advanced military means, such as bombers and aircraft carriers, to the region.
(With information from EFE and AP)
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