Kim Jong-un's daughter is quietly sparking 'anger' among North Korean citizens

Kim Jong-un's daughter has appeared a lot in North Korean media recently, and citizens in the country are apparently not happy about it.

Kim Jong-un's daughter sparking secret bitterness among North Korean citizens
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Kim Jong-un's daughter sparking secret bitterness among North Korean citizens

In a country facing an agricultural crisis, food shortages, and a starving population, images of Kim Jong-un’s daughter attending public events recently have seemingly sparked a secret resentment among North Koreans.

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Kim Jong-un's daughter 'living well' while North Koreans in 'squalor'

According to sources cited by Radio Free Asia, the prevalence of Kim Jong-un’s daughter in the media has sparked widespread, secret resentment among citizens. This is because, as RFA writes, 'it reminded the people of the national pecking order: Those close to the country’s leadership come first, and everyone else lives in relative squalor'.

A resident of the northwestern province of North Pyongan spoke to RFA's Korean Service on the condition of anonymity due to security reasons. They said that media reports about the leader and his daughter’s latest appearance at a ceremony for the construction of a new street Pyongyang upset many people. They added:

It makes me angry that my situation is so hard to bear, and Kim Ju Ae, who we all know is eating and living well, is showing up on TV in her fancy clothes so often.

Other citizens pointed out how healthy Ju Ae appeared. The source said:

The people are saying things like, 'She must be eating so well, her face is so white and plump like the moon'. Most people aren’t able to eat properly so their cheekbones stick out from their faces even more than ever before.

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Ju Ae compared to children of 'common people'

A second source living north of the capital in South Pyongan province told RFA that residents were comparing Ju Ae to the neighbourhood children. They said:

They are angry to see the plump white face of the Beloved Child appearing so often in propaganda. They say that she looks so different than the children of the common people, who cannot even eat three meals a day due to a lack of food.

The second source said that the fact Ju Ae is allowed to wear 'fancy' clothes is hypocritical when authorities punish high-school students for allegedly imitating capitalist culture by having long hair or following fashion trends. They said:

Kim Ju Ae’s clothing and appearance are completely different from what an ordinary teenage girl could get away with.

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This resentment has been bubbling away for a while. A source in North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK that citizens who saw Kim Jong-un and Ju Ae at the military parade on 8 February 'couldn’t hide their bitterness'. They said:

As a parent, I felt a sense of shame watching a young girl receive top treatment alongside her dad, outclipsing even the top military brass, just because of who her father is.

The source continued that while it was somewhat heartwarming to observe father and daughter smiling and talking on the VIP platform, 'it’s an image the people cannot entirely embrace'. He claimed:

No one would be happy to see somebody treated like royalty because of who her father is while their own kids are trembling from hunger and cold.

Sources used:

Radio Free Asia: 'Images of plump, well-dressed daughter of Kim Jong Un arouse secret resentment'

Daily NK: 'What perceptions do many N. Koreans have about Kim Jong Un’s daughter, Kim Ju Ae?'

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