Even when there was no political action, Pyongyang can still attract the world’s attention for the 40 days disappearance of Kim Jong-un.
Translated from Vietnamese daily VN Express by Cindy Uong
Experience in publicity is perhaps one of the most valuable lessons learnt from this event in North Korea.
Even when Kim Jong-un did not appear in public, any news and information relating to him and his disappearance were publicised and broadcasted all over the world. Numerous curiosities, theories and predictions also arose.
There were countless rumours about Kim Jong-un’s illness – from having gout, diabetes to cerebral haemorrhage or heart disease, from a leg injury required surgery by French doctors to mental illness or even cheese addiction.
This mystery seems to come to an end with the image of Kim Jong-un smiling and walking with his cane appears on the news of North Korean Press. While visiting the newly built buildings institute for state scientists in Pyongyang, Mr. Kim “takes necessary steps with carefulness and kindness”, extract from the official dispatch from KCNA (Korean Central News Agency). Nevertheless, North Korea government did not indicate the exact date of this visit as well as skipping all the questions relating to the health of their leaders.
By attracting significant international attention without any political movement or declaration has in some ways showed the expertise of Pyongyang propaganda authority. This authority has placed Kim Jong-un in the central of every single story and news. 40 days without Kim Jong-un were the 40 days when the world media, newspapers were full of questions, doubts and rumours.
The North Korean government controls and orientates its national media. Kim Jong-un is portrayed as the fountain of all things, beautiful and powerful. KCNA always broadcasts about Kim Jong-un and his work, history, and when there was no broadcast, it became something special and earth-shattering.
In the eyes of the world, Kim Jong-un is so important to North Korea that his absence made a huge impact on global scale, despite that there was no abnormal signs or actions from Pyongyang.
This event also shows the difficulties which other states, scholars, researchers and journalists are facing in trying to grasp the actual situation within North Korea.
There was nothing wrong when the world was obsessed with the absence of Kim Jong-un in all the daily work such as monitoring the factories or examining military units. The reason is simply because, ever since 1948 when Kim II-Sung (Kim Jung-un’s grandfather) found North Korea until now, the Kim family has always been successful in promoting and spreading North Korean principles, cultures and mysteries.
Kim’s last appearance on the KCNA was on 3 September, at a concert. During his absence, Kim had missed many important events which he should have attended such as WPK’s 69 years anniversary on 10 October.
The absence of a mysterious and powerful leader controlling a nuclear power weapons has demonstrated to always attract huge attention and curiosity to the media. Regardless of all the accurate analysis and reports from specialists who often visit Pyongyang, rumours and information from unreliable and unofficial sources were still widely spread.
The world paid huge attention to the absence of Kim Jong-un partly because they were worried about the future and the stability of North Korea and its government if their leader fell ill and passed away without a successor.
The absence of Kim Jong -un “was not a big impact to the government but it unveils many weaknesses and problems that his regime is facing” – from Scott Synder (specialist in politics and foreign policy of North Korea) at the Council of Foreign Relations (US).
Original article: http://vnexpress.net/tin-tuc/the-gioi/phan-tich/nhung-bai-hoc-tu-su-bien-mat-cua-kim-jong-un-3093162.html