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Where is Kim Jong-un?

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2014-10-14 13:20:48

              Editor's Note

Rumors concerning North Korea have been swirling in recent days. Out of sight for over a month, North Korea's top leader Kim Jong-un is rumored to be ill. There is also speculation that Kim's absence is a sign of instability in his leadership. It remains to be seen what is going on within the country.

              Latest News

DPRK top leader gives field guidance to residential district: KCNA
Top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un gave field guidance to a newly built residential district, the official KCNA news agency reported Tuesday, his first public appearance in 40 days.

Speculation mounts over Kim absence before key date
Speculation continues to mount over whether North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will appear at the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on October 10, after a prolonged public absence has fueled rumors of political instability in the nation.

N.Korea tries to deflect criticism
North Korea sought to defuse criticism of its human rights record on October 7, as the European Union and Japan prepared a UN resolution harshly condemning Pyongyang.

DPRK commemorates anniversary of Kim Jong-il's election as party secretary
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on October 7 held a national meeting to mark the 17th anniversary of late leader Kim Jong-il's election as head of the ruling party, state media reported, with no mention of the presence of incumbent top leader Kim Jong-un.

S.Korean minister confirms Kim Jong-un's health: Yonhap
South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae said senior leader from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yang-Gon told him on October 4 that there was no problem with DPRK leader Kim Jong-un's health, Yonhap news agency reported Sunday.

              Latest info 


September 3 (Last public appearance):

Kim Jong-un watched the performance of the Moranbong Band with his wife Ri Sol-ju at the Mansudae Art Theater.

September 25:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was an apparent no-show when his rubber stamp parliament convened for its second session this year.

September 26:

A short video clip broadcast on the Korean Central Television said Kim was still busy leading the DPRK people with enormous enthusiasm despite his recent ill health.

September 29:

A source claimed that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had surgery in Pyongyang in mid-September to treat fractures to both ankles and remains in hospital.

South Korean intelligence also learned that a team of doctors from Europe recently went to North Korea.

Source: Chosun Ilbo

October 5:

South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae said Kim Yang-gon, a senior leader from the DPRK, told him privately that there was no problem with Kim Jong-un's health, during the visit of three senior DPRK officials to South Korea for the closing ceremony of the 17th Asian Games.

October 7:

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a national meeting to mark the 17th anniversary of late leader Kim Jong-il's election as head of the ruling party, state media reported, with no mention of the presence of incumbent top leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is believed to be staying north of Pyongyang as he recovers from an undisclosed illness, South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said on October 7. Han said some media reports about Kim are true and some are false, but "I believe that we get highly credible information from the intelligence unit of the defense ministry. We are doing all we can to grasp the situation."

Source: Chosun Ilbo

October 10:

Kim did not visit the Palace of the Sun at Kumsusan, which was a commemorative ceremony marking the 69th anniversary of the founding the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK).

October 14:

Top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong-un has gave field guidance to a newly built residential district, the official KCNA news agency reported on October 14, his first public appearance in about 40 days.

              Speculations


About Kim:

Health: North Korea's state-run Central TV made an official mention of its leader's "indisposed condition."

Location: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is believed to be staying north of Pyongyang as he recovers from an undisclosed illness, South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said on October 7.

About his leadership:

There is also speculation that Kim's absence is a sign of instability in his leadership.

About the Korean Peninsula:

In South Korea, the US and Japan, quite a number of people hold that the Korean Peninsula won't witness a dramatic turnaround until subversive political changes take place in North Korea. Such a point of view has fueled varied rumors and haunted North Korean politics for a long time.

              Comments


Zhang Liangui, an expert on North Korea at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee

Speculations on why North Korea's top leader Kim Jong-un has not appeared in public for over a month are fuelled as the country reveals relatively less information to the outside world. None of these speculations have yet been proven to be true or false. It is still too early to draw any conclusions as we do not have enough first-hand information at this time.

Source: Chinese Business View

GT editorial: Tough task to crack Pyongyang's isolation 

Here we try to analyze the realistic options of Pyongyang. To begin with, North Korea must make a change, which is not only a result of the heightened pressure it faces, but also the judgment of its young leadership. The backwardness of North Korea will to some extent convert into political pressure. Boosting economic and societal development is the only path for Pyongyang. Given the risks that will accompany development, the North Korean leadership must get a grip over the transformation process ahead of the time when it embarks on large-scale changes.

There will be many concerns about "opening-up" in Pyongyang. However, the closed-door policy has been proven wrong in history. If North Korea wants to develop, it has to emerge into the current of globalization.  

GT editorial: Speculation over NK's future may be rash 

Noticeably, under the current state system, it's more difficult for Pyongyang to mend fences with South Korea, Japan and the US than to develop relations with Beijing. The key divergence between North Korea and China lies in the nuclear issue, but there are multiple conflicts among North Korea, South Korea, Japan and the US. South Korea aims at dictating the unification process of the Korean Peninsula, while the US longs for a revamp to North Korea's system, which is unacceptable to Pyongyang.  

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