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N.K. leader out of public eye for 23rd straight day

All News 14:44 November 12, 2020

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has not made any public appearances for the past 23 days, but his absence is nothing unusual, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

Kim was last seen in public on Oct. 21 when he visited a cemetery in the North's South Pyongyang Province for fallen Chinese soldiers that participated in the 1950-53 Korean War.

"We do not attach any special meaning to it as he has gone absent from public view for more than 20 days several times based on past records," the official said.

Kim's absence from public sight for 20 days in April sparked worldwide speculation over his health and even the possibility of his death. That speculation was soon dismissed when he reappeared at a ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer factory with a broad smile in early May.

Pyongyang has also kept mum on Joe Biden's victory in the U.S. presidential election.

"It is true that North Korea is keeping quiet ... We will check whether this marks the longest period North Korea has gone without releasing any response to a U.S. election," the official added.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un places a wreath at a cemetery for Chinese soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War in Hoechang, South Pyongan Province, central North Korea, to mark the 70th anniversary of China's entry into the conflict, in which China fought alongside the North, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency on Oct. 22, 2020. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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