Where in the world is Kim Jong-un? As conflicting reports continue to swirl that the North Korean dictator is either sick, dead, or in hiding, the North Korean media seems to be happy to keep the rest of the world guessing as to what’s really going on.
Professor Felix Patrikeeff, a North Korea analyst from the University of Adelaide, reminded the Daily Mail that this is not the first time a North Korean dictator has been out of public view for an extended period of time. “The same thing happened to Kim II in the 1990s,” said Patrikeef. “He was absent from the public for some time. That era is generally looked at as a consolidation of power.”
Patrikeff admitted that there are signs that something is awry, though he said, “It could mean any number of things.” He continued:
“It is possible that the country could be going through a period of readjustment, but it’s just too early to say. For example, they have taken a milder line on South Korean relations. Some DPKR officials visited South Korea for Asian Games on Sunday. They have also recently admitted to the existence of labour camps, further suggesting they are taking a softer stance.”
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Patrikeff warned that the Western media may have jumped the gun with their reports on the status of Kim Jong-un, advising that until another leader becomes prominant in the public eye, it would not be wise to predict a complete change in leadership. The analyst remarked:
“We will have to wait and see. Any Western reports on North Korea need to be taken with a grain of salt. We need clear evidence before we can make any conclusions. Generally, with this type of regime, this would mean another figure becoming prominent in the public eye and making significant announcements. If that happened, we could have reason to believe there could be an imminent change in leadership.”
If there is nothing wrong with Kim Jong-un, then why doesn’t the North Korean media make that clear? Tell us what you think about this situation in the comments section.