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N.K. leader appears in public 51 times this year: analysis

All News 10:29 June 21, 2017

SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appeared in public 51 times this year, mainly in the fields of defense and the economy, an analysis of news reports showed Wednesday.

Yonhap News Agency analyzed reports that the North's official Korean Central News Agency carried on the leader's public activities from Jan. 1 to June 20.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observes the launching of a new surface-to-ship cruise missile in this photo published by the country's daily Rodong Sinmun on June 9, 2017. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Of the 51 public appearances, defense-related activities accounted for the largest portion at 21, followed by inspections of the economy and public livelihoods at 15, attendances at political events at 11, and concert attendances and other activities at four.

Kim made 10 public appearances, about 20 percent of the total, to oversee his country's missile development. He appeared to focus more on defense compared with the same period last year when he conducted 26 defense-related public activities and 24 economic activities.

The total figure, 51, represents a 21.5 percent decrease from 65 in the same period last year.

South Korea's National Intelligence Service reported the same number to the National Assembly last week but put the decrease at 32 percent.

Kim's fewer public activities reflect his firmer grip on power, the agency said.

According to data from the Ministry of Unification, Kim's public activities have decreased every year since 2013, when the number stood at 212.

Of those who accompanied Kim on his trips, military chief Hwang Pyong-so was seen most frequently (21 times). Hwang is the director of the general political bureau of the North's Korean People's Army.

hague@yna.co.kr
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