North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un remained absent from commemorations of his grandfather’s birth anniversary which triggered speculations around unusual break away from traditions. Experts have reportedly suggested that the North’s leader might be looking to establish himself as an independent and modern leader rather than a mere descendant of his predecessors.
In North Korea, April 15 is considered as one of the most important days in the country’s annual political calendar to celebrate the dynasty. According to media reports, analysts believe that Kim wants to distance himself from the cult of personality when the people of North Korea are taught to revere Kim II Sung and Kim Jong II, father of the current Supreme Leader.
However, Kim has been visibly absent from two major events this week which raised further questions regarding the decision. On April 12, North Korean legislature held its third session in the absence of its Supreme Leader as the world is struggling to contain the spread of coronavirus.
North Korea has not reported a single case of coronavirus case so far which the Politburo reportedly called a result of country’s top-class emergency anti-epidemic measures from the outset. Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that it has been receiving weekly updates from the health ministry and the country even has the capacity to test coronavirus in its national reference laboratory in Pyongyang.
Earlier, North’s senior health minister had also insisted that the country is free from coronavirus saying it does not have a single case of the disease. Pak Myong Su, director of the anti-epidemic department of the North’s Central Emergency Anti-Epidemic Headquarters, said that North Korea sealed its borders late January, shortly after the coronavirus outbreak news emerged from neighbouring China.
According to the WHO website, North Korea, Lesotho, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan have not reported a single coronavirus case. However, several foreign experts have raised doubts over the veracity of report from North Korea, which shares a border with China and South Korea.
(Image source: AP)