North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has appeared in public with his daughter for the second time, as the two posed for photos with soldiers, scientists and others involved in this month’s Hwasong-17 missile launch.
State media outlet KCNA reported that Mr Kim and his daughter found the crowd “filled with boundless passion and happiness” as they expressed “the highest glory and ardent reverence for him”.
Mr Kim was quoted as saying: “It is the truth taught by history that only when we become the strongest – not the weak – in the present world where the strength in showdown just decides victory, can we defend the present and future of the country and nation”.
He also said that scientists and technicians should “make a do-or-die struggle… and thus expand and bolster up the nuclear war deterrent of the country at an exceptionally rapid speed”.
KCNA said that the workers “hardened their resolve” to carry out the task, “burning their hearts with a single mind to repay the privileges and trust shown by him at any cost”.
The photos were not dated but were released by the North Korean government late on Saturday.
Independent journalists were not given access to the event, which was described by KCNA as a “photo session”.
The Hwasong-17 is North Korea’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile, and it was tested earlier this month, with some experts saying it has the potential to strike anywhere on the US mainland.
Mr Kim had boasted that the ICBM was a “reliable and maximum-capacity” weapon to contain US military threats.
His daughter had watched the test with him – her first appearance in public.
Her second appearance has raised speculation that she could be a successor in the making, but analysts say it would be an unprecedented uphill struggle in North Korea’s male-dominated dynasty.
KCNA has not identified her, calling her “beloved daughter”, but experts believe she is Ju Ae, estimated to be aged between 12 and 13, although some think she could be as young as nine.
Mr Kim is believed to have as many as three children – two girls and a boy – but in showing Ju Ae to the world twice in a matter of days, he has indicated that she could be a successor in the making or be trained for a leadership position.