Kim Jong Un a No-Show at Key Event, But ...

Source says he hurt his leg at military drill
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2014 3:24 AM CDT
Updated Oct 10, 2014 4:19 AM CDT
Kim Jong Un a No-Show at Key Event, But...
North Koreans visit the statues of late leaders to mark the 69th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea today.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

The might of the Workers' Party "is growing stronger under the seasoned guidance of Marshal Kim Jong Un," North Korean state media announced today—but the marshal's whereabouts are still unknown and he was apparently missing from a major event today. Top North Korean leaders visited a mausoleum to pay their respects to Kim's father and grandfather to mark the 69th anniversary of the party's founding, but for the first time since he became leader, Kim's name was not on the list of dignitaries in attendance, reports the BBC, whose Seoul correspondent says the no-show "increases the feeling that something untoward has happened." According to North Korean state media, a flower basket with Kim's name on it was placed in front of statues of his father and grandfather, reports the AP.

While there are rumors that Kim has been toppled, some sources say the 31-year-old leader is merely suffering from gout, and a source close to Pyongyang's leadership tells Reuters that Kim hurt his leg after inspecting military exercises and deciding to join in. "He ordered all the generals to take part in drills and he took part, too. They were crawling and running and rolling around, and he pulled a tendon," the source says. "He injured his ankle and knee around late August or early September while drilling because he is overweight. He limped around in the beginning but the injury worsened," says the source, who claims Kim is still in "total control" but will need around 100 days to recuperate. (Read more Kim Jong Un stories.)

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