According to state media, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited troops to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the country's army and praised the "irresistible power" of his nuclear-armed armed forces. The visit took place at the same time as reports that North Korea is organising a huge military parade in Pyongyang, where it may show off the newest equipment from its burgeoning nuclear weapons programme, which has frightened both its neighbours and the United States.
Kim's daughter Kim Ju Ae, who is said to be 9 or 10 years old, stood close to her father as he shook the hands of senior officials and sat next to him at a table during her fourth known public appearance. According to analysts, Kim's decision to take his daughter to military-related public events is meant to serve as a reminder to the world that he has no plans to voluntarily give up his nuclear weapons, which he reportedly views as the best assurance of his survival and the continuation of his family's dynastic rule.
Discussions on whether Kim Ju Ae is being groomed to succeed her father have been sparked by the state media's laudatory descriptions of her, in which she has been termed "respected" and "loving." She joined her father to a meeting with military specialists and a ballistic missile inspection in addition to attending an intercontinental ballistic missile flight test in November.
According to the official Korean Central News Agency of North Korea, Kim visited the general officers' quarters of the Korean People's Army on Wednesday with his daughter. Later, at a banquet, he addressed the troops and gave them a motivational speech, congratulating them for maintaining the "strongest army in the world" despite external challenges.
The visit occurred a day after Kim called for an extension of combat drills to enhance war readiness during a meeting with his senior military commanders as he sought to intensify an already provocative string of weapons exhibitions in the face of rising tensions with his neighbours and Washington.
Military leaders could be seen cheering at the meal, which appeared to be hosted at Pyongyang's Yanggakdo Hotel, in images published by the state media. Kim and his daughter strolled down a red carpet with his wife, Ri Sol Ju, while wearing matching black suits and white dress shirts.
As supreme commander of an army that is "fulfilling the call of the times and history as the strongest army in the world," Kim stated in his speech that it was his "highest honour" and pleasure.
Reports in the state media on Kim's visit to the military omitted any remarks directed at Washington or Seoul. The North's military is ready to launch a "super powerful attack of unfathomable might to wipe out the origins of provocations without a trace," according to an editorial published in Pyongyang's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper on Wednesday.
The North Korean government's escalating nuclear policy and its belief in "power-to-power, all-out conflict" with foes, according to the newspaper, are supported by the country's increased weapon tests and battle drills last year.
The schedule for a military display, which might occur later on Wednesday, has not been confirmed by North Korea. As soldiers lined up to salute, citizens of Pyongyang observed the anniversary by going to the city's Mansu Hill to place flowers and pay tribute to the monuments of their late leaders, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, who were the ruler's grandfather and father, respectively.
Commercial satellite photos have revealed weeks of apparent preparations involving a sizable military and civilian presence for an occasion normally meant to exalt Kim Jong Un's regime and his unrelenting pursuit of the North's nuclear status.
The fact that North Korea is experiencing both food shortages and a widening economic isolation illustrates how expensive Kim's nuclear aspirations are becoming.
The dozens of missiles that North Korea shot in 2022 included possibly nuclear-capable systems intended to reach targets in South Korea and the U.S. mainland. North Korea is coming off a record-breaking year for weapons testing.
Intense comments threatening preemptive nuclear attacks against its neighbours and the United States in a variety of situations when it might consider its leadership as being under threat punctuated the testing activity's increased intensity.
Tensions may increase in the upcoming months as Kim intensifies his nuclear push through 2023.
Kim demanded the "exponential increase" of the nation's nuclear warheads, the mass production of tactical nuclear weapons for use in battle against the "enemy" South Korea, and the creation of more potent intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the entire United States during a significant political conference in December.
Along with developmental tests, North Korea may step up its military displays in retaliation to South Korea and the United States' escalating joint military drills, which the allies claim are meant to counter the North's developing threat.
The U.S. plans to expand its joint military exercises with South Korea and send more sophisticated military equipment, such as bombers and aircraft carriers, to the region. The North Korean Foreign Ministry warned last week that the country is ready to respond to these actions with the "most overwhelming nuclear force" to ensure its security.
North Korean Leader Kim Visits The Troops With His Daughter
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