[imText1]On the 8th, (North) Korean Central Broadcasting did not report any news regarding Kim Jong Il’s visit to Gumsusan Memorial Palace to honor the memory of his father, Kim Il Sung. This is notable because after the death of Kim Il Sung, at midnight on July 8th, the North Korean media always reported on Kim Jong Il’s visit to the Palace.
As long it does not pose any personal danger to him, Kim Jong Il is required to visit the palace – not making the visit is inexcusable. The first day of January, Kim Jong Il’s birthday, and the visit to Kim Il Sung’s memorial palace are the most important annual events for Kim Jong Il. In addition, due to the internal and international political situations, visiting the palace raises the morale of the North Korean people. So why was it not reported this year? Was the visit simply not covered by the media, as usual, or did Kim Jong Il not go to the palace this year?
It is difficult to be sure, yet it is assumed that Kim Jong Il visited the palace and that the media were instructed not to report the news.
The lack of reporting was likely due to the fact that many military officers who attended with Kim Jong Il last year, did not make the recent visit. In 2004 and 2005 Kim Jong Il visited to the Palace with numerous high-ranking officials from the Military Committee of the Party, the National Defense Commission, and from the Supreme Command, including vice-chairman Yeon Hyung Mook, from the National Defense Commission, general chief of staff, Kim Young Choon, and chief Kim Il Chul, from the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces.
Until last year, Party officials did not accompany Kim Jong Il to the palace, although military officers accompanied him. Last year,however, various party officials joined Kim Jong Il in his visit.
It is likely that while Kim Jong Il did visit to the palace with military officers, with officers of the Party making a later visit, the media reported only the visit of the latter group.
U.S., reporting impossible through reconnaissance satellite
This seems to illustrate that Kim Jong Il is responding to international pressure resulting from the recent missile tests. It has been determined that Kim Jong Il has grown anxious about the hard line the U.S. has taken.
In the past, Kim Jong Il ordered the governmental media, including Rodong Shinmun (the North Korean governmental newspaper), not to report on his external activities. He has also ordered them not to reveal the names or positions of his companions.
A defector who worked as a bodyguard for Kim Jong Il commented that, “Kim Jong Il often changed the inspection schedules of military units, and often transferred between his private car and a train. Such changes made it difficult for the military units to prepare for military events.
Nevertheless, suspicions have grown since the media did not report Kim Jong Il’s visit to the Palace. Reporting on Kim Jong Il’s every move and every statement are the most significant aspects of the North Korean media.
Thus, no matter about how many officers visit to the palace, the media neglecting to report on Kim Jong Il can be likened to “a bun lacking the seasoned meat stuffing”. Is it possible that Kim Jong Il has finally grown concerned over his actions?