Politics News

Kim Jong-Un No-Show At Major North Korean Event Spurs Rumors

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un appeared to be a no-show at a major political anniversary ceremony on Friday, heightening the mystery surrounding his absence from public view.

On Friday, North Korea celebrated the 69th anniversary of the founding of the Korea Worker’s Party (WPK), as government officials visited Kumsusan Palace, a mausoleum for Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Il Sung, and grandfather, former leader Kim Jong Il. The leader was not seen on the list of attendees, the BBC reports.

Mr. Kim has been missing from public view since September 3, which is his longest absence since he rose to power in 2011. According to state television last month, he was suffering from an “uncomfortable physical condition” and shown with a limp.

South Korea said it believes he remains in control of the country.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Lim Byung-chul” author_title=”Unification Ministry Spokesman”]

It seems that Kim Jong-un’s rule is in normal operation. With regard to his specific health conditions, our government has no information to confirm yet.


North Korean officials have said that Kim is doing well with an injured ankle, USA Today reported.

Still, the long hiatus has led to increasing speculation and rumors that something has happened to the leader, as well as who will take over control if something has happened. While some political analysts believe the absence is intentional to draw attention, some believe he may be detained against his will.

The South Korean official, Byung-chul, pointed out that the North Korean state media still lauds Kim, and the country believes his rule is still normal. The White House said rumors of a military coup in the country appear false.

The news comes as tensions increase along the border, with South and North Korea exchanging machine-gun fire across the border this week over the release of leaflets from South Korea designed to convince North Koreans to turn against Kim and his family’s rule. South Korean activities often release pamphlets that are carried to North Korea by balloons.

According to South Korea, the North fired first on Friday with the South returning fire. No damage or casualties were reported. While firing over the border is not unprecedented, it is strange enough that South Korean television stations cut from regular programs to broadcast the news as urgent.

North Korea is a police state that controls all information that reaches citizens. The leaflets, which are commonly sent by North Korean defectors, often contain Christian messages or criticism of Kim and the state network. Kim is typically depicted as a pig or a “depraved child” for the execution of his uncle in 2013 in what is believed to be a power struggle. Some pamphlets also include information about the income gap between South and North Korea, which is impoverished.

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