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Kim Jong-un daughter called a ‘top leader’ boosting succession status

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North Korea has described Kim Jong-un’s teenage daughter as a top leader for the first time in a move that bolsters her status as the dictator’s successor.

She was described as a “great person of guidance”, a term usually reserved for senior leaders, in an official report of a visit to a greenhouse farm.

“The great persons of guidance, together with cadres of the Party, the government and the military, went round the farm,” read the English-language report of the visit by Mr Kim and his daughter.

Analysts said it was the first time the Korean leader’s daughter had been described as such in the hermit kingdom. She has never been named by Pyongyang’s state media but South Korean intelligence identified her as Kim Ju Ae.

“This is the first expression of elevating Kim Ju Ae to the ranks of a leader,” Yang Moo-jin, president of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said.

The North Korean term “hyangdo” (guidance) is typically reserved for “top leaders or successors” of the isolated regime, said Cheong Seong-chang, director of Center for Korean Peninsula Strategy at the Sejong Institute.

“This level of personal worship for Kim Ju Ae strongly suggests that she will succeed Kim Jong-un as the next leader of North Korea,” he added.

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