September 25, 2020

Kim Jong-un sends message to workers but still doesn’t appear in public

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un today sent a message of thanks to a group of workers replicated by state propaganda, which has not published recent images of the marshal for more than two weeks while circulating information with various conjectures about his health.

Kim sent a brief thank you through the country’s main newspaper, Rodong, to those who work on the tourism project on the Kalma peninsula, in the city of Wonsan (east coast), precisely the place where satellite images have shown that his special train is parked.

The newspaper’s news piece begins by saying that Kim “has sent his thanks to the workers who have actively supported with their efforts the construction of the tourist district of Wonsan Kalma”, one of the great developments of the Pyongyang regime, which before the pandemic expected to be able to open around April.

The article then lists and thanks a number of people charged with overseeing the construction, logistics or healthcare of the workers, but does not mention more details about the North Korean leader.

North Korean media has reported in recent days that Kim has sent diplomatic letters or gifts.

However, they have not reported any activity by Kim Jong-un on the ground or published a current image of him since April 12, when they reported a meeting of the single-party political bureau held on the eve and chaired by the dictator.

At that meeting, the leader named his sister, Kim Yo-jong, a substitute member of that all-important executive body.

Added to this is the unusual absence of Kim Jong-un from several important events, including the festivities of April 15, the main national holiday.

In this context, marked in turn by the coronavirus pandemic, and in the face of the traditional opacity of the North Korean regime, different media have published information, always citing anonymous sources, in which it is said that the marshal’s state of health is delicate, in many cases due to an alleged heart operation.

However, the South Korean government has ruled out the validity of this information and insisted that it has not detected any unusual activity in North Korea, while satellite images analyzed by the specialized website 38 North located the leader’s special train in Wonsan.

In turn, Moon Chung-in, special security adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said on Fox News on Sunday that Kim “is alive and well,” while Newsweek magazine said Washington has also detected no military activity. North Korean out of the ordinary.


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