First we will excerpt a report from the UK Guardian today that downplays rumors Kim Jong-un has been overthrown and then excerpt a UK Mail article with North Korea defectors that say Kim Jong-un has been deposed. Also included are assessments from the New York Times, Reuters, and Wall Street Journal. According to a think tank in Seoul formed by North Korean defectors, the dictator’s sister is currently running the country, making all important decisions in the wake of her brother’s disappearance.
UK Guardian: Where is Kim Jong-un? Speculation about North Korean leader intensifies
From a debilitating battle with gout, to house arrest and outright regime collapse, speculation over the reason behind Kim Jong-un’s lengthy absence from public life is intensifying as North Korea prepares to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of its ruling party on Friday.
Theories about the health of the head of its ruling dynasty have abounded since late last month, when North Korean state media admitted that Kim, an overweight 31-year-old with a rumoured weakness for cheese, was suffering from an “uncomfortable physical condition” caused by an unnamed ailment.
A day earlier, Kim had failed to attend a session of the supreme people’s assembly, North Korea’s national legislature, where leaders would normally be expected to make an appearance.
In July, a visibly heavier Kim, who became leader in December 2011 following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, was shown on TV walking with a limp at an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of his grandfather and North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung. The footage prompted surprise among observers that he had been portrayed in such an unflattering light. He has not been seen in public since 3 September, when he attended a concert.
His absence at celebrations to mark the 69th anniversary of the Korean Workers’ party would not necessarily indicate a serious health problem or political flux, because it is not a landmark year. However, Kim attended the celebrations last year and in 2012, with late-night visits to the mausoleum where the bodies of his father and grandfather are interred.
Rumours emanating from China that rival power brokers at the heart of the state apparatus have ousted Kim are wide of the mark, according to analysts.
The most likely explanation for his absence is prolonged treatment for a painful leg condition, possibly gout, said Jiro Ishimaru of Asia Press, an Osaka-based organisation with a network of high-level contacts in North Korea.
“If he doesn’t show up tomorrow then something is definitely wrong, but it’s impossible to say if the problem is physical or political,” Ishimaru said. “It’s safe to say at this point that the rumours of a coup d’état that began a couple of weeks ago are nonsense.”
Ishimaru said he and his colleagues had been talking daily to sources inside North Korea with connections to the regime, as well as to North Korean businessmen in China, and none had reported anything untoward in the North’s political arrangements.
“The most sensible theory is that he has something wrong with his leg and is staying out of the public eye while he receives treatment,” Ishimaru said.
He also dismissed reports that political instability in North Korea had prompted a lockdown in Pyongyang. “People are able to leave, but it’s true that ordinary North Koreans are not allowed to enter the capital,” he said. “But this is always the case ahead of the anniversary event for the ruling party, because it is viewed as such an important occasion.”
The absence of details of why Kim hasn’t been seen in public has given way to rumor.
Reuters reports that some “Pyongyang watchers” believe Kim may have been the victim of a power struggle. Their view was bolstered when a senior delegation from the North unexpectedly visited South Korea last weekend for the closing ceremony of the Asian Games.
The Wall Street Journal, in its story on the rumors surrounding Kim’s absence, cited a news report from New Focus International, a news agency run by defectors from North Korea, that said the power structure in the secretive communist country has changed recently. New Focus says Kim is now merely a figurehead for the country’s real rulers, members of the Organization and Guidance Department.
The New York Times, in its story, reported: “In an indication of the breathless nature of the online rumor mill, one story circulated on social media in China went so far as to name the engineer of the purported coup, Vice Marshal Jo Myong-rok. The only catch: Mr. Jo was reported to have died several years ago.”
North Korea has a personality cult that is brutally enforced. In the below photo if the North Korean women did not cry loud enough pretending to love Kim Jong Un, they would be imprisoned in slave camps or executed. This happened at the funeral of his father, Kim Jong-il. Those deemed to not have been crying loud enough were imprisoned or executed.
The original article that claims it is an overthrow, by the UK Daily Mail:
Has Kim Jong-Un lost control of North Korea? Pyongyang is on lockdown and nation’s former intelligence officer says Kim has ALREADY been overthrown
Jang Jin-sung made the sensational assertion at a conference in Holland
•The former propaganda officer said he’s now just a ‘puppet leader’
•He claims the Organization and Guidance Department hold the real power
•Pyongyang in lockdown with even the elite banned from entering or leaving
A former North Korean counter-intelligence officer has claimed that Kim Jong-Un is no longer in control of the nation and is now just a ‘puppet leader’.
Jang Jin-sung, who used to be an influential officer in Kim Jong-il’s propaganda division, made the sensational assertion at a September conference in Holland attended by several elite exiles, it’s been reported.
The capital, Pyongyang, meanwhile, has been placed into lockdown with even the elite banned from entering or leaving, according to a respected news site. This adds weight to Jin-sung’s claim, as a North Korean expert said that this kind of measure is only put in place when a coup has taken place – or is suspected.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2779139/Has-Kim-Jong-Un-lost-control-North-Korea-Nation-s-former-intelligence-officer-says