Where’s Kim? NK Leader Hasn’t Been Seen Publicly in Over 2 Weeks

October 29, 2012 - 4:39 PM

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un hasn’t made a public appearance in over 2 weeks.

During the month of October, Kim has made a total of 6 public appearances, which is 5 fewer than the 11 appearances he made in September.

The South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Monday that according to the Ministry of Unification in Seoul, Kim’s last appearance was on Oct. 14, when he attended ceremonies marking the anniversaries of two revolutionary schools.

The Ministry of Unification also said that Kim has appeared in public an average of 13.7 times between January and September of this year.

“The young leader's disappearance from the public view runs counter to a series of unusual moves for a leader of the reclusive nation, including attending a concert featuring Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters and making public his wife Ri So'l-chu [Ri Sol-ju], in what experts say is an attempt to promote his image as a down-to-earth leader familiar with the people,” the Yonhap report said.

On Oct. 24, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said he and others are still uncertain what type of leader Kim will be, and whether he’ll emulate his late father, Kim Jong-Il.

“I think bottom line is we still don't know whether or not he will simply follow in the steps of his father or whether he represents a different kind of leadership for the future,” Panetta said at a Pentagon joint press conference, alongside South Korean Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan Jin.

Minister Kim commented on recent economic reforms that have taken place in North Korea, and thinks the Supreme Leader will maintain a “military first policy.”

“Kim Jong-Un recently is trying to introduce new economic reform measures. He seems to be making attempts to bring a better life to his people, but the likelihood of success, it's still -- it's yet to be seen,” Kim said through a translator.

“What I do want to say is that Kim Jong Un will continue to hang on to the military first policy that -- which was his father's policy. He is still young, meaning that he may be a lot more aggressive compared to old people, because he's still young.”