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N.K. leader visits mausoleum of grandfather, father to mark new year

North Korea 08:11 January 02, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has visited the mausoleum of his late grandfather and father in his first reported public activity this year after he threatened to show off a "new strategic weapon."

Kim paid tribute at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the bodies of state founder and grandfather Kim Il-sung and his father Kim Jong-il are enshrined, on the occasion of the start of the new year, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

His visit to the mausoleum came after he warned of a "shocking actual action" and threatened to show off a "new strategic weapon" in the near future during a rare four-day meeting of the ruling Workers' Party held until the last day of 2019.

After releasing the remarks through state media, Kim skipped his annual New Year's Day address.

The North had threatened to take a "new way" if the United States failed to offer concessions to move the stalled denuclearization process forward before the end of 2019, spurring concern that he would abandon diplomacy altogether and revert to provocative acts.

Even though Kim warned of a "new strategic weapon" and a "shocking actual action," he still appeared to have left room for negotiations, saying how much the North will bolster its nuclear deterrent will be "properly coordinated" depending on the U.S. future attitude.

Close aides accompanied Kim on his visit to the mausoleum, including Choe Ryong-hae, the country's de facto No. 2 leader, and Premier Kim Jae-ryong, according to the KCNA. Kim has paid tribute there on New Year's Day since taking office in late 2011, except in 2018.


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