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N. Korea's No. 2 official fails to appear at events for 2 days

N. Korea's No. 2 official fails to appear at events for 2 days

Posted February. 17, 2017 07:09,   

Updated February. 17, 2017 07:15

North Korean media reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid respect at the Kum Su San Palace of the Sun on the 75th birthday (Kwang Myong Sung Day) of his father, the late former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on Thursday. The palace houses the remains of the North’s founder Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

According to the North’s Korean Central News Agency and Korean Central TV, Kim Jong Un was accompanied in the visit by top leaders from the ruling party, the government and the military, including Hwang Pyong So, the head of the military’s general politburo; Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly; Kim Ki Nam, vice chairman of the Workers’ Party’s Central Committee; Choe Thae Bok, chair of the Supreme People’s Assembly; and Ri Myong Su, vice chair of the party’s Central Military Commission. Notably, Ri Pyong Chol, the first vice chief of the party’s Central Committee was spotted standing in the front row at the memorial altar. Ri recently escorted Kim Jong Un when Pyongyang launched its most advanced intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM; Puk Kuk Song-2). The visitors offered flower bouquets in the name of Kim Jong Un and the party’s Central Committee to pay respect, before taking tour to the cars, trains and ships used by Kim Jong Il before his death.

Meanwhile, Choe Ryong Hae, vice chair of the party’s Central Committee who is considered to be the closest aide to Kim Jong Un, failed to show up at the palace on the day again after a central reporting convention that took place in Pyongyang on Wednesday. Minister of State Security Kim Won Hong, who was reportedly sacked for the charge of abuse of power last month, failed to attend as well.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com