tirsdag 5. mai 2020

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s Reappearance May Have Been Calculated Event to Dispel Rumors of His Demise

An exchange of gunfire at the border between North and South Korea over the weekend, just after North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un reappeared in public after a three-week absence, appeared to be a deliberate message from the North that the status quo remains unchanged, North Korea watchers told RFA Monday.

Kim, who had not made a public appearance since mid-April, was the subject of rumors and speculation with several media outlets reporting the Supreme Leader was having major health issues following cardiovascular surgery, some even citing sources in the intelligence community. But he emerged Friday in seemingly good health at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Sunchon phosphate fertilizer factory in South Pyongan province. Sources within North Korea told RFA’s Korean Service that the factory is not yet finished, and the ceremony was meant specifically to show those both abroad and at home Kim Jong Un was alive and well.

“The Number One Event was held in a hurry just to make Kim Jong Un happy, without completing the factory’s testing phase,” the source said, using a term that refers to events attended by North Korean leaders.