FPI / May 13, 2020
Kim Jong-Un’s long-awaited and much-publicized return to the public eye on May 1 was reportedly cobbled together on very short notice.
The North Korean leader’s attendance at the completion ceremony of the Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer Factory was put together two days before the actual event, the Daily NK reported on May 7.
The [North Korean communist party’s] Central Committee abruptly issued an order to prepare the factory’s completion ceremony, a source inside North Korea told the Daily NK.
“For two days the construction workers fully devoted themselves to preparing for the ceremony. They worked themselves to the bone day and night to create the appearance of a finished factory, coating the outside of the building and fitting it with glass, among other things,” the source said.
After an almost three-week absence in which international media speculated that he had surgery and was near death or even dead, Kim Jong-Un reappeared via photographs on state media showing him at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the fertilizer factory.
“The reason they held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a factory where construction wasn’t even fully finished, and one with Kim Jong-Un present, is that they want to rally the entire [communist] party, the military and the public to the cause of overcoming the country’s food shortages by encouraging the increased production of fertilizer, which is a crucial component in farming,” the Daily NK source said.
According to the Daily NK’s source, soldiers who had been dispatched to work on the fertilizer factory had been putting the finishing touches on the interior in late April when they abruptly received the order to complete the exterior of the building.
“In addition, all factory personnel and even their families were reportedly mobilized to plant flower beds and clean the roads within the factory grounds,” the Daily NK said.
Following the abrupt order, those responsible for the fertilizer plant construction project reportedly anticipated a visit from a high-ranking member of the Cabinet.
“Nobody onsite expected that the event would involve Kim Jong-Un himself,” the source said.