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Kim Jong Un fails to appear on Workers’ Party foundation day

Kim Jong Un fails to appear on Workers’ Party foundation day

Posted October. 11, 2014 04:04,   

한국어

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who is rumored to have health problems, failed to attend an annual ceremony held to pay tribute at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on Friday, which marked the foundation day of the North’s ruling Worker’s Party. It was the 37th day after the young leader disappeared from public sight.

The North’s Korea Central News Agency said on Friday, “Marking the 69th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party, leaders of the party, the state and the military visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun and paid deep respect on Friday,” adding, “At the standing statues of Compatriot Kim Il Sung and Compatriot Kim Jong Il, a flower bouquet in the name of Compatriot Kim Jong Un was presented.” The agency thus confirmed that only Kim Jong Un was absent at the event even though the North’s leadership, including Kim Yong Nam, standing chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Pak Pong Ju, cabinet prime minister, and Hwang Pyong So, head of the general politburo of the military, all visited the facility as in previous years.

Since assuming power on April 11, 2012, Kim Jong Un visited and paid respect at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun where the bodies of North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung and previous leader Kim Jong Il on three largest holidays in the North, namely Kim Il Sung’s birthday (April 15), Kim Jong Il’s birthday (February 16), and the foundation day of the Workers’ Party (October 10), for seven consecutive events without single absence. As Kim Jong Un is confirmed to have been absent from the event at the Kumsunsan Palace of the Sun on the day, the rumor over Kim Jong Un’s suspected health problems, which has been subsiding following a visit to Incheon by three high-powered North Korean leaders, will likely resurface again.

In an op-ed piece to a U.S. media outlet, Victor Cha, former National Security Council advisor at the White House, claimed that “It is illogical that despite Kim Jong Un’s absence the Supreme People’s Assembly was not postponed recently, and Hwang Pyong So was elected as vice chairman of the all-powerful National Defense Commission.”

Kim Jong was seen severely limping his right leg for the first time on July 8, when he attended the central memorial ceremony on the 20th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s death. Rumors spread it that German and Russian doctors visited the North to conduct surgery on Kim Jong Un’s leg, while Kim Jong Un disappeared from public eyes after a concert of Moranbong Orchestra on September 3.

A Seoul government source said, “His father Kim Jong Il also sometimes did not visit and pay tribute at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in years other than those ending in the numbers zero or five,” adding, “It is believed that Kim Jong Un’s rule is in normal operation.”