Speculations are rife after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un skipped an important Politburo meeting on Sunday. He is not seen in public for more than a month and this has given rise to speculations over his health again. This is Kim Jong Un's longest-ever break from public appearances since he disappeared in 2014 for 40 days.
Speculations are rife about the health of North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong Un ahead of mass military parades in the country’s capital Pyongyang this week. Kim Jong Un has been reportedly missing from public events for over a month and this has given rise to speculations over his health again. According to South Korean news outlet NK News, Kim skipped an important Politburo meeting on Sunday, and it was the third time he has done so.
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The NK News report added that his prolonged disappearance raises questions about his health, and this is Kim’s longest-ever break from public appearances since 2014 when he was not seen for 40 days.
Earlier, some of his shorter breaks such as in May 2021 and April 2020 sparked serious speculations about his health.
North Korea's capital Pyongyang is expected to hold mass military parades this week to celebrate the 75th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army. Kim is expected to attend this week’s military parade, which is likely to start on Tuesday night or Wednesday evening, as per the report.
Usually, Kim Jong Un has utilised such national events to talk about North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile program.
Kim has gone missing several times in the past since coming to power in 2011.
In 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kim stayed out of the public eye, except for large political activities.
In 2021, the leader was noticeably absent from state media for about 20 days and no further explanation was given after he reappeared. In 2020, Kim’s three-week disappearance sparked global speculation that he was in a vegetative state after a botched heart surgery, while some reports suggested he was dead.
The rumours ended when Kim reappeared at a ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer plant.
In 2014, when Kim vanished from the public eye for nearly six weeks, he reappeared with a cane and South Korea’s spy agency said that he had a cyst removed from his ankle.
It will be interesting to see if Kim will make an appearance in the parade. Kim is expected to use the event to showcase the latest hardware from his growing nuclear weapons and missile programme, which is raising concern for the United States and its allies in Asia.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)
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