It would have been unsurprising to have heard a cohesive sigh of relief across North Korea on 14th October once leader Kim Jong-un made his first public appearance since 3rd September.
Speculation was raised after the almighty Mr Kim went unseen for 40 days missing two fundamental dates in the uniquely absurd North Korean calendar. The leader was absent during both the Foundation Day of The State (9th September) and the anniversary of the Korean Worker’s Party (10th October). The North Korean populace would not have known what to think (literally) as this marked the longest period in which their leader remained undetected since the death of Kim Jong-il in 2011.
The 32-year-oldís last public appearance on 3rd September saw him hobbling in front of his advisers (although the extent to which they advise is questionable) and the dictator looked in some discomfort. It is thought poor health was the root cause for his vanishing, and experts suggested he may have been suffering from gout the same condition that plagued our very own chubby ‘Dear Leader’, Henry VIII.
The more dramatic interpretation circulating the world was that Mr Kim’s disappearance was a result of a political and military coup. Kim’s inner circle were seen around the 4th October in South Korea, causing many to assume that a major alteration in power had taken place. Being a hugely secretive state, however, one could only speculate where and why Kim had gone missing. Naturally, the official stance maintained that nothing was wrong.
Fortunately though, Kim Jong-Un returned to the North Korean spotlight on the 14th October whilst visiting a residential facility with the aid of a walking stick. Mr Kim was said to have had health concerns regarding his hip perhaps due to the weight of 25 million North Koreans on his soldiers… *shoulders*.
John Delury, analyst at Yonsei University, Seoul, informed the Guardian that Kim could not appear in public because the issue was of a “physical” nature “with aesthetic consequences”. It would have been preposterous to display happy, smiley Kim as declining in health now wouldn’t it! Although, this series of events does prove that the young dictator is human after all, unlike his paternal predecessor.
Clearly, Kim’s disappearance was deemed to be a health issue. In spite of this, the relentless world of social media was left dissatisfied, resulting in those on Twitter to launch their own assumptions of the dictator’s true whereabouts.
Twitter have been positing their own suggestions for an answer to the question of #wherewasKimJongUn? Allegedly Mr Kim was “off celebrating his recent World Cup success”, “DJing a sick concert” or alternatively “grabbing a Snickers because he is a right Diva when he’s hungry”.
These accusations may have been true, but the more popular response suggested that there was never any need for panic as Kim was “just waiting for a mate”.