Tags: kim jong un | north | korea | normal | control

Kim Jong Un's Control of North Korea Remains Normal, South Says

Thursday, 09 Oct 2014 11:17 PM

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un remains in control of the isolated nation, the South Korean government said amid speculation about his grip on power after a five-week absence from public view.

"It appears Kim Jong Un is ruling normally," South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Lim Byeong Cheol said at a briefing in Seoul today. The South based its view on greetings Kim sent to President Park Geun Hye via a high-level delegation that visited the South on Oct. 4 and the fact that the North has been reporting on "matters related to Kim's leadership."

Kim probably didn’t visit a Pyongyang mausoleum today where the bodies of his father and grandfather lie in state as he had done at midnight the previous two years, South Korea’s Yonhap News said, citing a lack of official reports from the North. State media in Pyongyang also gave no indication as of 11 a.m. local time that Kim showed up for today’s anniversary celebration of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party.

"At least in the short term, no major problems will shake the stability of the North Korean regime," Cheong Seong Chang, a senior analyst at the Sejong Institute near Seoul, said by e- mail. "On top of a monarchical political culture that justifies the third-generation succession, Kim Jong Un has replaced core officials with his confidants and removed anyone who's not loyal to him since Kim Jong Il's death."

Kim hasn’t made a public appearance since Sept. 3, a long absence in country where the "Supreme Leader" is regularly seen overseeing anything from missile launches to grain harvests. North Korean media said Kim was suffering from "discomfort" when he missed a parliamentary session last month amid reports from the South he may be afflicted with ailments from gout to diabetes.

The Unification Ministry's Lim told reporters today that his government “had no information that could confirm the state of Kim'’s health.”

Speculation over who is in control of the country escalated last week when Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong So, the North’s top security official, made a surprise visit to the South for talks that ended in a pledge to improve ties.


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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un remains in control of the isolated nation, the South Korean government said amid speculation about his grip on power after a five-week absence from public view. "It appears Kim Jong Un is ruling normally," South Korean Unification Ministry...
kim jong un, north, korea, normal, control
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2014-17-09
Thursday, 09 Oct 2014 11:17 PM
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