‘Great person of guidance’: Significance of new title for Kim Jong-un’s daughter

Posted on : 2024-03-20 16:41 KST Modified on : 2024-03-20 16:41 KST
State media referred to the preteen daughter of the North Korean leader with the epithet, suggesting she is considered to be someone who can direct the country to greatness
North Korea’s state-run KCNA reported on March 16, 2024, that leader Kim Jong-un had attended the ribbon-cutting of the Kangdong General Greenhouse Farm with his daughter Ju-ae on March 15. (KCNA/Yonhap)
North Korea’s state-run KCNA reported on March 16, 2024, that leader Kim Jong-un had attended the ribbon-cutting of the Kangdong General Greenhouse Farm with his daughter Ju-ae on March 15. (KCNA/Yonhap)

North Korean state media used the phrase “great person of guidance” to describe North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s daughter, Ju-ae, for the first time while reporting on their attendance at a ribbon-cutting for a greenhouse farm.
The fact that the phrase, which is usually reserved for leaders who steer the country towards progress, was used to describe Kim’s young daughter is notable considering that it may hint at possible succession of power.
The state-run Rodong Sinmun and other media reported on Saturday that Kim Jong-un attended the commissioning ceremony of Kangdong General Greenhouse Farm as well as guiding military training with his daughter Ju-ae. The impression is being made that Kim is looking out for the people’s livelihood and the country’s national security with his daughter, who is a likely candidate to become his successor.
The Rodong Sinmun revealed that Kim, along with Ju-ae, attended the commissioning ceremony of the Kangdong General Greenhouse Farm, which has been built and inaugurated new Pyongyang, and “made a significant address encouraging the service personnel of the KPA who successfully built [the greenhouse.]”
The Kangdong General Greenhouse Farm, which was built on the site of a military airfield in Kangdong, is the third modern greenhouse farm to be completed in North Korea, following the Jungphyong Vegetable Greenhouse Farm in North Hamgyong Province (completed in 2019), and the Ryonpho Greenhouse Farm in South Hamgyong Province (completed in 2022).
North Korean authorities state the importance of ensuring the provision of fresh greens to the people, no matter the time of the year, as the motivation behind the construction of such large-scale greenhouse farms.
Kim was also accompanied by Ju-ae during his guidance of the training of Korean People’s Army paratroopers. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shared photographs depicting Ju-ae watching the drills through binoculars from a guard post and the father and daughter duo standing very close to the soldiers while they commenced shooting drills.
Kim has been guiding military drills in response to the US-South Korea joint Freedom Shield exercises, but this is the first time that he has taken his daughter with him during his inspections.
It is also worth mentioning that both the Rodong Sinmun and the KCNA used the plural form when using the phrase “the great persons of guidance,” which is used to describe those who navigate the country towards greatness. Other phrases such as “a great guide and artist of epochal changes,” and “pioneer of great change and the great artist of creation” were also used.
The use of the phrase “great persons” can be interpreted to mean that Ju-ae is also considered to be someone who can direct the country to greatness, along with Kim.
The Rodong Sinmun reported, “When Kim Jong-un and his beloved daughter arrived at the venue of the ceremony amid the playing of welcome music, all the participants broke into stormy cheers of ‘Hurrah!’”

It went on to write, “The great persons of guidance, together with cadres of the Party, the government and the military, went round the farm.”

Experts point out that it is the first time the phrase “great persons of guidance” has been used to describe both Kim Jong-un and Kim Ju-ae.
Cheong Seong-chang, the director of the Department of Reunification Strategy Studies at the Sejong Institute, sees the use of such labels in describing Ju-ae as “strongly appealing the fact that Ju-ae will become Kim Jong-un’s successor to North Korea.”
In North Korea’s Korean language dictionary, Joseonmal Daesajeon, the word that translates into English as “great person of guidance,” describes “a leader who illuminates the way forward for the masses in the struggle for revolution and guides them towards victory.”
Saturday’s report marks the 26th report on Ju-ae made by media outlets such as the Rodong Sinmun and Korean Central Television.
“As of now, we can say that Ju-ae has been designated internally as the new successor of North Korea and is receiving relevant education to become the next leader,” surmised Cheong. “Kim’s inclination to be more public on certain issues is making us privy to phenomena that could be seen when Kim himself was designated both internally and externally as the next successor.”
“While Ju-ae is still in the early stages of the succession race, as her designation still remains unofficial, it suggests that Kim is incredibly keen on presenting her as his future successor,” he went on to say.

By Park Min-hee, senior staff writer

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