South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which deals with North Korean affairs, said Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has not appeared in public for 25 days, his longest absence this year.
Kim was last seen in public on May 6, when he participated in a photo session with North Korean military families after art performances the day before, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency wrote.
“This is the longest period this year without reports on Kim’s public activities,” Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Jong-dzu told a news conference. He did not mention any possible reasons for Kim’s absence.
Meanwhile, the official Korean Central News Agency at the time reported on the actions Kim had taken, for example, regarding sending a congratulatory message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on his re-election.
On Tuesday, Yonhap said, citing anonymous sources, that North Korea’s ruling party had created a new first secretary position in January, which would be able to replace Kim at important party meetings and would be the de facto second official at the Pyongyang summit. .
Meanwhile, the authorities in Pyongyang have not yet made any official announcement regarding the recent meeting between US and South Korean Presidents Joe Biden and Moon Dai Ina.
Yonhap recalls that when Kim disappeared from the public domain for 20 days last year, it sparked a flurry of speculation in the international media about the dictator’s health. Some media wrote that he probably underwent surgery, was in serious condition, and even died.
However, such speculations vanished when North Korean state media published pictures of a smiling Kim at the official opening ceremony of a new fertilizer plant in early May 2020, the South Korean agency said.
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