LONDON – Kim Jong Un has a baby daughter, Dennis Rodman told British tabloid, the Sun in an exclusive today. The American basketball star revealed the news yesterday in an interview about his surreal trip to Pyongyang last month.
“She kept talking about their beautiful baby daughter”, Rodman said, unaware of the previously secret nature of the baby’s existence.
Though Rodman told the Sun that he had been briefed by Kim Jong Un on a number of issues he should not talk about to reporters, family affairs was seemingly not one of them.
While North Korea has never officially confirmed the news, South Korean intelligence services “confirmed” that Ri Sol Ju had a baby in late 2012. Speculation that the baby was a girl has been circulating on the South Korean internet ever since, but today’s development marks the first time it has been corroborated by an independent source.
“If it was a boy, [the North Koreans] would have made an announcement,” Michael Madden, author of NK Leadership Watch said. A boy would be seen as a more viable heir to the North Korean “throne” in the event of a fourth generation leadership transition.
The closest North Korean media have made to announcing Ri Sol Ju’s pregnancy came in September last year, when photos suggested she may have been pregnant.
“As proof of the birth, the government source cited Ri Sol Ju’s figure, which has become considerably slimmer, and her permed hair. It is common knowledge that usually, if a pregnant woman does not get a perm, [she refrains from doing so] because of the strong chemicals involved in the process,” Seoul-based news agency Yonhap news reported.
The South Korean government has a long track record of implicating itself in emerging news stories on North Korea, usually by citing “anonymous” sources within its foreign ministry or intelligence services.
The Sun is a British tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch. Whilst it often carries exclusives, it is not known for being a reliable or impartial source. “The Sun Lies” is a blog dedicated to exposing misreporting by the UK tabloid.