SEOUL — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has a baby daughter, seemingly guaranteeing the future of a dynasty that has ruled the isolated and impoverished state for three generations, according to U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman, who met Kim last week.
Kim's wife, Ri Sol, had appeared to be pregnant in pictures issued last year by North Korea's state news agency, although no confirmation was available. She then disappeared from public view, returning in October.
Rodman, who has visited North Korea twice this year and describes Kim as his "friend," told Britain's Guardian newspaper that he had held the baby.
"I held their baby Ju-ae and spoke with Ms. Ri as well. He's a good dad and has a beautiful family," Rodman was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Kim Jong-un, the third member of his family to rule North Korea, is believed to be 30 years old. He was effectively anointed as his father's successor in 2010, despite the fact he is the third son.
Given the traditional nature of North Korean society, it is unlikely that Ju-ae would succeed her father, although female relatives of Kim, such as his aunt, occupy key positions in government.