Kim’s absence from public view triggers speculation about the hierarchy in Pyongyang

Special to WorldTribune.com

By Lee Jong-HeonEast-Asia-Intel.com

SEOUL — North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s two-week absence from the state media propaganda feed coincided with a reduction in the stream of belligerent threats against South Korea and the West.

Military officials applaud together with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during the Unhasu concert in Pyongyang in this picture released by North Korea's KCNA news agency April 16.  /Reuters/KCNA
Military officials applaud together with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during the Unhasu concert in Pyongyang in this picture released by North Korea’s KCNA news agency April 16. /Reuters/KCNA

This has in turn triggered speculation of a coup against the youthful dictator.

But government officials and analysts in Seoul said Kim likely used the break to come up with new tactics to save face after the reduction in months-long saber-rattling and military escalation starting with a long-range rocket launch in December.

Kim’s absence surprised North Korea watchers here as his high-profile, real-time activism in recent months had put the defiant nation on self-proclaimed war footing.

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