North Korea keeps shooting. The self-declared nuclear power fired a "new type" intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday, according to Pyongyang's usual shrill propaganda, the widely isolated country believes that it has the "world's most powerful strategic weapon" and another means of "total confrontation with unrestricted confrontation" to be able to answer.
The test, which is part of the aggressive arms show of recent weeks, was overseen by ruler Kim Jong Un and was successful. The armed forces now have another means at hand to "deter any nuclear threat," Kim was quoted as saying.
Given the non-stop provocations and sustained barrage, the real surprise was the presence of Kim's daughter, who has never been seen in public before. The North Korean side had not even confirmed their existence.
The state news agency KCNA published a bizarre series of pictures on Saturday that are said to show the dictator "along with his beloved daughter and wife" as part of the missile test.
The young-looking girl wore a white winter jacket and red shoes in the photos, one photo shows her and her father hand in hand in front of the vehicle with the launcher from which the "monster rocket" - as the cruise missile was called in the South Korean media - are launched should.
State propaganda failed to provide any information about the girl's age or name. The country is largely isolated from the outside world, so information about North Korea's ruling family is sparse. However, South Korea's intelligence services assume that Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju have three children: a son, a daughter and another child whose gender is unknown.
Even within North Korea, little is known about the Kim dynasty. In November 2012, Kim Jong Un's apparently pregnant wife was shown on state television, possibly with the daughter who is now being presented, but no official information about the girl was known beyond that.
In 2013, former US basketball star Dennis Rodman, who described Kim as a "friend for life," said he held his daughter -- then a baby -- while visiting Pyongyang. At the time, he said in an interview with the British "Guardian" that her name is Ju-ae.
According to observers, the fact that Kim presented his daughter to the world public as part of an arms show, and ultimately also to the North Korean people, could therefore be a message both internally and externally that he regards the expansion of the nuclear program as a generational task - and as a legacy from Ju- ae should be held responsible.
"This is the first public occasion we have seen Kim Jong Un's daughter," Reuters quoted North Korea expert Michael Madden of the US think tank Stimson Center as saying. "It is of great importance and shows a certain level of self-confidence on the part of Kim Jong Un that he is bringing her out in this way."
Jenny Town from 38 North, a research institute in Washington that deals with North Korea, reads from the setting and the published images a kind of long-term handover. It looks like Kim wants to "pass on a legacy," she told the news agency. "The look gives a sense that she (the daughter) is now a part of the legacy too."
Antik Panda, a nuclear expert at the US think tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, concludes that North Korea will keep its nuclear forces "for the long term," based on the images. She views Kim's decision to present his daughter at the rocket launch as a possible indication that the dictator views his nuclear program as a multi-generational effort, she told The New York Times.
Kim's own first appearance in North Korean state media came in 2010, shortly after he was named to succeed his father Kim Jong Il, who passed away the following year. The first official photo released by state propaganda at the time showed Kim with his father and a number of senior party officials.
According to observers, the photos were also intended to demonstrate his family ties. However, nothing is known about internal discussions in the isolated country about a possible successor to Kim. South Korea's intelligence agency said last year that Kim's younger and more influential sister, Kim Yo Jong, now appears to be the "number two de facto leader."
Kim, who is 38 years old according to South Korean sources, was proclaimed "supreme leader" of the armed forces, the party and the state after the death of his father Kim Jong Il in late 2011. The Kim dynasty has ruled the impoverished but well-armed state for more than 70 years.
Sources: The New York Times, Reuters, The Guardian, CNN, Sky News, Business Insider, Deutsche Welle, with DPA news agency footage