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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid