Saturday, May 2, 2020 8:53 am
By Ademola Adegbamigbe
It was a secret wish of many in the comity of nations that they should read the obituary of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, in the newspapers or watch it on television. Why? They see him as the 21st century international bogeyman!
Not a few inhabitants of this planet swore by their ancestors’ beards that the North Korean leader died after a heart surgery that went awry. Or that he was injured when his country’s nuclear missile was being tested. In fact, Chinese journalist, Shijian Xingzou insisted, claiming a reliable source, that the man had joined his father on the other side of eternity. Workers at the rumour mill fired feverishly on all cylinders.
However, the North Korean leader has disappointed his critics and detractors.
Disappearing act is one of the world dictators’ means of measuring public mood. It enables them to know among the ruling class who is making some dangerous moves to gain power, who among them holds nocturnal meetings with a view of to doing some mischief. When they finally appear in public after a period of hibernation like the polar bear, the citizens revel in the good health of their leaders and forget the agonies of the moment.
However, in the aftermath of the despot coming in from the cold, his corporate axe will swirl and severed heads will roll in the sand. It is a stock practice.
CBS news, in a report, cited North Korean news agency as announcing on Saturday that Kim Jong Un “attended a factory opening, which would be his first public appearance in 20 days amid worldwide rumors that he was gravely ill. A senior administration official contacted by CBS News said the U.S. was monitoring and trying to verify the reports.”
The news story has it further: “The government-run daily published confirmation, and North Korean state-run media KCNA published photos it said showed Kim at the ceremony. The photos were published in North Korean paper Rodung Sinmun, the official paper of the Workers’ Party, as well as the South Korean news site Yonhap.
The U.S. has been attempting to verify the status of Kim’s health and whereabouts since he failed to appear at a national holiday event on April 15.
KCNA reported that Kim cut a ribbon at a ceremony at the opening of a fertilizer plant and those attending the event ‘burst into thunderous cheers of ‘hurrah!’ for the Supreme Leader who is commanding the all-people general march for accomplishing the great cause of prosperity.’”
In the version presented by Bloomberg, Kim presided over a May Day ceremony to mark the completion of the Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer Factory northeast of the capital Pyongyang, the official Korean Central News Agency reported early Saturday.
State media “released photos showing the North Korean leader in a black Mao suit cutting a ribbon outside the facility, which non-proliferation experts say could be used to help produce fissile material for nuclear bombs.
U.S. President Donald Trump declined to comment on Kim’s reemergence besides telling reporters before heading to Camp David for the weekend that he “may” speak with the North Korean leader. “We’ll have something to say about it at the appropriate time,” Trump said.