Kim Jong-un: The real reason why he may be preparing a woman to be his successor revealed

Experts have revealed why it seems Kim Jong-un is preparing a woman to be his successor despite the odds.

Kim Jong-un: The real reason why he may be preparing a woman to be his successor revealed
© SOPA Images / Getty Images
Kim Jong-un: The real reason why he may be preparing a woman to be his successor revealed

There has been mounting speculation recently that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is preparing his daughter to be his successor. Some find evidence of this in her increasing public appearances at events in the country. Most recently, she attended the launch of a new housing project in Pyongyang alongside her father.

Discover our latest podcast

However, others believe she’s simply being used as propaganda, that Kim Jong-un is too young, and would never choose a woman for the top job. Here’s why they could be wrong.

Is Kim Jong-un a feminist?

If Kim Jong-un appointed a female as his successor it would be something unprecedented in the history of the repressive state. The dictator and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, are believed to have three children, including an eldest son. Significantly, it is only Kim Ju Ae, his second born, who has appeared in public.

Ramon Pacecho Pardo, a professor of international relations at King's College London, told Insider:

It would not be out of question for him to decide he wants his daughter to be next in line because he has shown his willingness to put women in positions of power.

Kim Jong-un has appointed women to positions of power before. His sister, Kim Yo-jong, has served as the Vice-Director of the Publicity and Information Department of the Workers' Party of Korea since 2014. In 2017, she was promoted to an alternate member of the politburo. Kim Yo-jong has also worked alongside her brother at international summits and represented North Korea at events such as the Winter Olympics in South Korea in 2018.

Read more: Kim Jong-un’s sister sends stark warning to US and South Korea, the ‘worst maniacs’

Meanwhile, Choe Sun Hui is the country's first female foreign minister, and singer Hyon Song Wol has also played a vital role in North Korean propaganda.

Andrei Lankov, a North Korea expert, recently wrote for NK News:

Kim Jong Un is a feminist — at least if judged by the incredibly low standards of North Korea.

Read more:

Kim Jong-un drops latest hint his daughter may be his successor, but expert believes there's a catch

Kim Jong-un's sister sends dire warning to US in a rare public statement

Kim Jong-un wants to modernize North Korea's image

Pacecho Pardo said Kim Jong-un sees himself as a modernizer. When he came into power in 2011, he promised changes to the economy and weapons programs. Pardo believes that putting women in important roles in the North Korean regime seems to fit with his reformist image.

He said:

The prominent role that women are paying in his leadership I don't think it is out of character.

Pardo continues that Kim Jong-un seems like he wants to differentiate himself from his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather, Kim Il Sung, whose wives and mistresses were hardly ever seen in public and who excluded women from top government roles.

Sources used:

Daily Mail: 'Kim Jong Un brings his daughter to launch of new housing project in Pyongyang in her seventh public appearance amid rumours she is being primed as successor'

Insider: 'Kim Jong Un may be prepping his daughter as his successor because he wants a woman in charge to modernize North Korea's image, experts say'

BBC: 'Kim Yo-jong: North Korea's most powerful woman and heir apparent?'

BBC: 'Kim Jong-un gives sister Yo-jong 'more responsibilities''

The real reason Kim Jong-un's mansion is falling apart The real reason Kim Jong-un's mansion is falling apart