According to Yonhap, the DPRK leader has once again stepped out of the international public eye.
The South Korean authorities are closely following the news about the whereabouts of DPRK State Council Chairman Kim Jong-un amid lack of information about his recent public appearances. This was reported by a representative of the Ministry of Unification of the Republic of Korea at a briefing in Seoul on Friday, Yonhap agency reports.
According to the agency, Kim Jong-un, who appeared in public on May 1 after a long absence, again went out of the international public eye and has not appeared at public events for three weeks. This sparked a new wave of speculation about the location of the North Korean leader, Yonhap points out.
“The relevant authorities are closely monitoring [the situation]”, – said an unification ministry spokesman in response to the question about Kim Jong-un’s whereabouts.
On 11 April, Kim Jong-un held a meeting of the Labor Party of Korea (KPC) Politburo on domestic policy issues, after which there were no reports in the DPRK media of his appearance at official events until 1 May. The absence of the Chairman of the State Council of the DPRK at the annual session of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPC) on April 12 and the ceremony on the occasion of the 108th anniversary of Kim Il-sung’s birth on April 15 led to allegations in the Western and South Korean media about Kim Jong-un’s health problems and his alleged surgery.China will increase its defense budget to $178.8 billion in 2020