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Seoul, Feb 18 – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended a football match with his daughter in celebration of his late father Kim Jong-il’s birth anniversary, state media reported on Saturday.
Kim and his daughter, known as Ju-ae, watched the match between officials of the Cabinet and the Ministry of National Defence on Friday in commemoration of the two-day national holiday that began Thursday this year, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
It marked the sixth public appearance by Kim’s daughter and her first in a non-military event, reports Yonhap News Agency.
The KCNA report did not mention her by name but called her Kim’s “beloved daughter”.
In photos released by state media, Kim and his daughter watch the game in a viewing stand with other top officials, including Premier Kim Tok-hun and Jo Yong-won, secretary for organisational affairs of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party.
Kim was also seen smoking a cigarette next to his daughter, believed to be around 10 years old.
The leader’s sister Kim Yo-jong also attended the match, although she is pictured sitting in the back row behind the leader in a corner, according to the pictures.
Observers said the event appears to be aimed at displaying the legitimacy of the “Paektu bloodline” of the Kim dynasty.
“The ‘Paektu bloodline’ members watching a football match on the Day of the Shining Star seems to be intended to show off their legitimacy and closeness,” Yang Moo-jin, president of the University of North Korean Studies, said, referring to the holiday.