According to an expert, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un may have started his succession plan.
What happened to Seong Hyon Lee, a senior fellow at George H.W. The Bush Foundation, in a op-ed for Nikkei Asia, said Kim's daughter, who was recently seen in three public appearances, could be the next possible heir.
It might seem unusually early to introduce her as his presumed heir, since Kim Jong Un is just 39. His father, Kim Jong Il, ruled the country until he died of a stroke in 2011 at age 70, while his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, the founder of the regime, governed until his death at 82, Lee said.
Also, see Kim Jong Un, Other World Leaders Would Think Twice Before Attacking US-Japan Defense Ties, Says Experts
Kim Jong Un is likely to rule the nation for the next 50 years or more. Lee said that he may have a reason to reveal a possible successor early.
After his father's death, Lee pointed out that Kim faced difficulty establishing his status - both domestically and internationally, including with China - and this could be a possible reason for introducing his daughter Ju Ae at an early age.
Ju Ae's first appearance at a missile launch site was seen as a one-time event by many experts, with some of them even calling it staged to highlight the dictator's fatherly image. After the second and third appearances, there have been speculations as to whether she is being groomed as Kim's successor.
The official Workers Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, called her the most beloved child of the North Korean leader. You can see more of Benzinga's coverage in Europe and Asia by following this link.