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Japanese Press, “Title of Honor Omitted in North Korea’s Media”

Japanese Press, “Title of Honor Omitted in North Korea’s Media”

Posted November. 18, 2004 22:58,   


Japan’s Radio Press reported that North Korea’s state-run press omitted the modifier “respectful leader” when designating Chairman Kim Jong Il of the National Defense Committee on November 17.

Regarding the issue, the International Herald Tribune (IHT) and Japan’s Asahi and Yomiuri dailies reported that this is interpreted as the abortion measure of personal worship of Kim Jong Il, stating that the title of honor, which used to be placed in front of his name, disappeared following the removal of his pictures from major national facilities.

However, an authority of the Korean government stated, “Chairman Kim’s pictures still appear at various public agencies shown on North Korean TV broadcasts. It is difficult to decide that there is an abnormality in his status because Chairman Kim is persistently exercising his leadership in the fields.”

A domestic North Korea specialist explained, “In the five recent broadcasts by the North Korean official Central News Agency on Chairman Kim’s exercising leadership in the fields, the term ‘respectful’ was used only once. The interpretation of Radio Press that the title ‘respectful’ has always been used is excessive.”

Russia’s ITAR-TASS suggested a sign of abnormality within North Korea, reporting on November 16 that Chairman Kim’s pictures have recently being removed from public places within the North.

Young-Sik Kim spear@donga.com