Kim Jong Un’s daughter keeps appearing at official events and in news broadcasts, although it remains unclear what the reason behind this may be (NK News, 13 February 2023). This is also true for the news reports about Kim Jong Un apparently skipping the remembrance ceremony for his father’s birthday for the first time; he simply sent a bouquet of flowers, instead of attending in person (NK News, 18 February 2023).
World Watch Research analyst Thomas Muller comments: “As almost all experts agree, it is too early to view Kim’s daughter as the new heir apparent, especially since she is only about ten years old and allegedly has an older brother, who would be the more natural successor. The whole episode should rather serve as a reminder how frustratingly little is really known about the situation in North Korea and how much remains guesswork. This is also the case concerning the reports of Kim Jong Un simply sending flowers on his father’s birthday. Such new behavior is unlikely to indicate any major change in North Korean ideology, since in recent years Kim Jong Un has been more praised and venerated than ever before. At the same time, it is interesting that there was no report of any other family members honoring Kim Jong Il at his birthday commemoration. For the ordinary North Korean and for the deeply hidden Christian community alike, such changes in behavior at the top will not make any difference to them; their life remains a struggle; this is particularly the case for Christians doing their utmost not to be discovered.”