Politicians in power know how to send a message to their people while celebrating, and North Korea is no different. Despite Kim Jong Un being given his position of power by birth, he still tries to keep the people of North Korea inspired and working hard. On February 7th, Kim came out to celebrate the 75th founding anniversary of the North Korean army.
To mark the occasion and send the message, he brought his daughter back out. Using her as a prop as he lauded the “limitless strength” of his allegedly nuclear-armed military while speaking to his troops in an unspecified barracks. The message with this combination is the likelihood of another fresh parade to showcase the latest in North Korean missiles.
Bringing out Kim Ju Ae in the past has been a very rare thing, and it’s only within the last six months that she’s really been seen. What is interesting besides how quickly she is almost her father’s size, is how her appearances seem to embolden the military testing frequency. Certainly a product of design, Kim had met with his top brass the day before, and demanded more combat readiness exercises.
His further provocation of the tension in the Indo-Pacific region is palpable when he conducts such visits. Bringing out the family only underlines how little he cares about possibly sending his country to war. It’s the traditional but rarely discussed “we’ll die for this” picture message. While it does little on the national stage, it will do what it needs to in its regime of deception and poverty.
As food isolation and further economic sanctions are in conjunction with problems in China and they are worse off than in previous years. The Russians are buying some arms from them (a line most people never imagined they would hear), but they aren’t very profitable given their failure rates. However, that hasn’t stopped them from using those funds to help test even more rockets and missiles. With more tests, they are getting further in line with their goals.
Already claiming to be nuclear-armed, North Korea has been looking for the right time to conduct a full show-style test. Given the recent Chinese balloon disaster in the US and Russia’s failures in Ukraine, this is the perfect time to test and showcase their might. If Kim wants to make his people take notice and get things going in a more aggressive direction, then this will do it.
More sightings of his daughter are likely soon. Especially if Kim keeps the saber-rattling up with ever-increasing weapons testing. With the rumors of her having siblings that we have never seen, should they come out, it could be even stronger signs of what is to come. In December Kim was already making strong provocations for more testing.
Telling a major political conference in December that they needed an “exponential increase” of the country’s nuclear warheads, more battlefield tactical nukes for targeting his mortal “enemy” South Korea, and tremendous development in the intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach the US shores, Kim wants everything ready to go into battle at the drop of a hat.
Political leaders across the globe want to see more security in the Indo-Pacific region before they commit more assets there. Many manufacturers are looking at relocating their factories due to the uncertainty with the leadership in many countries in the region.
Kim has to see the implications of his actions but has so far refused to acknowledge they exist. Bringing his daughter out as part of his dog and pony show may rile up his troops and trigger the process for more testing, but she doesn’t send the sign he wants her to. If anything she sends the sign that he and his bloodline are weak, and it’s the end of their time in power.