Where Is Kim Jong-un?

Oct 10, 2014 By Anita R
Anita R's picture

[Update 10/15/14 : Since the writing of this article, the elusive North Korean leader has surfaced. Pictures released by the Government show Jong-un with a walking stick, touring a research facility. However, the pictures are undated, and it is not clear when they were taken.]

Kim Jong-un, the 31-year old dictator of North Korea, has not made a public appearance for over a month now. International media has been speculating about what may be going on in North Korea.

The last time Jong-un was seen in public which was early September, he was limping across the stage. Could he be suffering from an illness, recuperating after a surgery or has he lost control of his country? These are the questions in people’s minds.

Last Friday, North Korea celebrated the 69th anniversary of the Workers Party. It is an event that Jong-un, who is the leader of the Workers Party, would not have been missed normally. Tributes are paid to Kim Il-sung - the founder of North Korea and Jong-un’s grandfather, and Kim-Jong-il, Jong-un’s father.

Shrouded In Secrecy

North Korea is one of the world's most secretive communist nations in the world. Kim Il-sung the founder of North Korea was a dictator who had established a dynasty of terror and began his dictatorship by wiping out all who opposed him. His policies were continued by his son Kim Jong-il. His grandson and current president Kim Jong-un has been no different.

North Korea has chosen to remain isolated from the rest of the world. The country has few friends and limits the freedom of its press.  The world is especially concerned about the happenings in North Korea since the country has nuclear ambitions. As recently as 2008, the country had successfully tested a nuclear weapon, causing concern among world leaders.

At the same time, millions are dying in the country, according to aid workers. North Korea depends on international aid for its food supplies and its military government has been accused of violating human rights.

Managing Media

It is common for media to wonder what is happening in a country that has a dictatorial form of Government, especially when there is limited information leaking out.You may recall, when  Hugo Chavez, the dictator of Venezuela was ill, there was not much information, and even his death was slowly released to the public.

When political leaders in a dictatorship sense that their leader is getting weak, they feel threatened by his loss. In order to maintain control over the country and their citizens, they take extra efforts to manage the flow of information.

Could this be true of North Korea? Who will take control of the country's leadership? The world will be watching closely.