Go to contents

Is NK leader staying in P`yang in fear of his personal safety?

Is NK leader staying in P`yang in fear of his personal safety?

Posted December. 04, 2012 03:03,   


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is known to have stopped all onsite inspections in provincial regions and exclusively stayed in Pyongyang since late August.

Analysts say he has remained in Pyongyang, or the “revolutionary capital,” possibly due to fears over his physical safety stemming from uncertainty over social stability across the Stalinist country.

Watchers say the North is speeding up the process for a planned missile launch by erecting the first-phase rocket of its long-range missile onto the launch pad just two days after announcing the launch. This is probably due to pressure to “generate achievements” to ease internal uncertainty and secure urgently needed consolidation of the new government.

According to sources in the South Korean military, North Korea moved the first-phase rocket from the assembly site to the launch pad in the Tongchang-ri missile base in Cholsan County, North Pyongan Province, and installed it using a crane Monday morning. Another source said, “Circumstantial evidence secured by South Korean and U.S. intelligence suggesting that the North has also brought out the second- and third-phase rockets from the assembly site,” adding, “North Korea is expected to install all three rockets in two to three days and start follow-up work, including fueling, to complete preparations for the launch around Dec. 10.”

According to a Dong-A Ilbo analysis of news reports on Kim’s activities covered this year by North Korean media, he has left Pyongyang just three times since July 14, when he purged Ri Yong Ho, former general staff chief of the North Korean People’s Army. Kim has not left the capital since making inspection tours to eastern sections of the inter-Korean border Aug. 24-28 in Cholryong, Kangwon Province. His two latest tours to provincial regions include visits to the 552 Military Unit and 1017 Unit (Sunchon in South Pyongan Province) on Aug. 6 and 7, and a trip to defense units on Jangjae and Mu islands in the Yellow Sea on Aug. 17.