News / Asia

North Korea's Kim Jong Un Appears Limping on State TV at Ceremony

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun at midnight on Tuesday on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the demise of President Kim Il Sung in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Py
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun at midnight on Tuesday on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the demise of President Kim Il Sung in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Py
VOA News

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared to be limping Tuesday at a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, the country's founding president, Kim Il Sung.

In state television footage broadcast live, Kim shuffled quickly and unevenly across a wide stage at a massive auditorium in Pyongyang as thousands of military officials applauded him.

No reason was given for Kim's apparent injury, which was a rare display of frailty for a leader whom many North Koreans regard as god-like.

In an interview with VOA, Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University, played down the significance of Kim's limp, saying he may have suffered the injury during military drills last week.

"I think the health of Kim Jong Un is not too bad. He probably sprained his leg during his inspection at a front-line military detachment in the East Sea. He is showing his appearance as it is because he is trying to show his confidence by not hiding any aspects of his health as a young leader," said Kim.

The young Kim did not speak at the event. Instead, the country's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, praised the deceased Kim Il Sung as "the greatest leader in human history" and said his grandson is following in his footsteps.

"[Kim Jong Un] has opened a new era for our people's freedom and revolution, started the future for anti-imperialism and anti-America, and created a construction for our world teachings of socialism. His precious name will be a light in the world and our hearts for all people and humanity," said Kim.

Elsewhere in the capital, throngs of North Koreans bowed deeply and lined up to leave bouquets of flowers or ornate wreaths in front of statues of Kim Il Sung.

Kim Il Sung ruled North Korea from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994. He was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong Il, who died unexpectedly in 2011, leaving power in the hands of Kim Jong Un.

VOA's Youmi Kim contributed to this story from Seoul.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
July 08, 2014 12:33 PM
North Korea is a country where everybody seems like they're on a good diet that works, because they're all slim and trim.... but Kim Jong Un seems to have gotten off his diet, and his oversized (elephant size) weight, is to much weight, for his skinny little ankles, do you think? ..... I'm sure Kim Jong Un eats the same things his subjects eat, but he seems to be eating about (10) times the amount they're eating, and maybe eating some of them too? .... (another reason not to go to North Korea? .... you may be on his menu?)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs