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North Korean leader in clandestine Siberian visit?

By 0 and 0 and 0
17 August 2012


Kim Jong-un, 28 years old leader of North Korea

The 28 year old Supreme Leader evidently made his undercover trip last year before his father Kim Jong-il's death in December 2011. 

The diplomatic buzz followed an Itar-Tass report of North Korean Foreign Trade Minister Ri Ryong Nam's comments at a Pyongyang reception dedicated to the 67th anniversary of the Korean liberation from Japanese occupation.

'The Minister said 2012 was the tenth anniversary of the visit of Kim Jong-il to the Russian Far East and the first anniversary of the tour of the new North Korean leader to the Russian Far Eastern and Siberian Federal Districts,' said the report.

'South Korean intelligence officials appear to have no inkling of the visit. At the time, they said Kim Jong-il alone travelled to Russia and China,' commented South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.

'At the time they reported that Kim Jong-un seemed to be on stand-by back home while refraining from official activities. It is also possible that Kim junior visited Russia either before or after Kim senior's trip, or that Ri's remarks were for whatever reason wholly inaccurate.'

Kim junior - aged 28 - has provoked a number of surprises since coming to power, not least the revelation of former pop singer Ri Sol-Ju as his wife and First Lady. 

Recently she was pictured with a fashionable Christian Dior worth about $1500 or roughly a year's salary for a typical worker in a country that has suffered food shortages and even famine. 

In contrast, Kim Jung-un wore his customary Mao-style dark suit.

Behind the media frenzy on whether or not a visit took place, North Korea has signaled it is seeking improved relations with Russia and improved economic contacts with Siberia.

Modernization of the railway from the Russia's Khasan station to Rason port in North Korea, due to be completed this year, and oil and gas cooperation are key areas for co-operation, said the foreign trade minister. 

Comments (1)

rather telling, the price of her bag compared to the salaries of millions other people in North Korea
I remember Soviet Union, here & there
17/08/2012 22:19

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