North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is a father, according to flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman who recently journeyed to the secretive authoritarian state. For anyone wondering, Kim’s young’un is a girl.
Rodman dropped the bombshell in an exclusive interview Britain’s the Sun tabloid, when he casually revealed one of the North Korean regime’s biggest secrets.
Talking about Ri Sol-ju, Kim’s wife, he said “[Ri] kept talking about their beautiful baby daughter.”
Albeit obliviously, Rodman had just torn apart the shroud of secrecy around a much-speculated heir to the North Korean regime.
Business Insider notes that “with no official announcement from North Korea, observers were forced to compare North Korean state photos of Ri, and guess whether she looked pregnant or not. Ri was not seen in public for a few months last year, only adding to the speculation.”
Now that it is known, the gender of the baby is a source of much discussion. On Nknews.org, Michael Madden, author of NK Leadership Watch is quoted as saying: “If it was a boy, [the North Koreans] would have made an announcement,” The website adds: “A boy would be seen as a more viable heir to the North Korean ‘throne’ in the event of a fourth generation leadership transition.”
North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is ruled by an authoritarian regime with a de facto dynastic type of leadership transition. Kim Il-sung, the first Supreme Leader of North Korea (1948-1994), designated Eternal President of the Republic after his death in 1994, handed the power to his son Kim Jong-il. Kim Jong-il reigned from 1994 to 2011, gaining the title of Eternal General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea upon his death. His son Kim Jung-un assumed the office of Supreme Leader of North Korea on December 17, 2011.