North Korea, Kim’s daughter at the missile launch with a luxury jacket

The ‘scion’ wears a garment worth over 2,500 euros, while food is scarce in the country

What to wear to launch an ICBM? Absurd question for most teenagers. It is less so if he addresses Kim Ju Ae, daughter and possible heir of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, ‘surprised’ with a Dior jacket at one of the latest missile tests. The girl, thought to be 10 or 11 years old, was photographed by North Korean state media last week as she and her father watched the launch of the Hwasong-17, capable of reaching the United States. A warning to “enemies”, the Pyongyang media commented on the test.

The South Korean broadcaster Chosun, noting the seams, highlighted how the black quilted jacket worn in cold Pyongyang by Kim Ju Ae looked exactly like the one sold in this period by the French fashion house. It is not possible to ascertain whether the jacket is real or a knockoff, but either way it would be an embarrassing choice in a very poor nation which, according to recent reports, is on the verge of famine. In fact, on the French brand’s website, the garment is sold for more than 2,500 euros.

Kim Ju Ae’s mother, First Lady Ri Sol Ju, is also known for her passion for fashion and luxury. Several photos of her have immortalized her with bags that look exactly like those produced by brands like Chanel and Dior. An image that contrasts with North Korea’s socialist ideology and which, if the authenticity of the garments were confirmed, would represent a violation of the United Nations sanctions regime.

“People tend to think that fashion in North Korea is sloppy and old-fashioned, but the country’s elite are up to date with new style trends,” said Jeong Eun-lee, a researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification from Seoul – They share photos of trendy looks via smartphone and shop in boutiques in Pyongyang.”

The Kim family’s lifestyle is in stark contrast to the worsening food security affecting ordinary people in North Korea due to natural disasters and the prolonged border blockade due to the pandemic. The agricultural program has repeatedly failed to provide enough food for the 26 million population. Reports of starvation deaths have recently emerged in some areas of North Korea, according to South Korea’s unification ministry.