- Memorial took place outside the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang
- It houses embalmed bodies of founder Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-Il
- But Kim was nowhere to be seen, instead pictured laughing at fishery tour
- It comes days after Kim Jong Un executed his ‘worse than a dog’ uncle
Fears have been raised for the safety of Kim Jong-Un’s wife. While the North Korean leader has embarked on a whirlwind publicity tour of his secretive country since the purging from power and execution of his uncle Jang Song Thaek, there has been no sign of his wife, Ri Sol-Ju, for a number of weeks.Ri Sol-Ju, along with Jang’s widow, Kim Kyong Hui, are regarded by North Korean observers as the power behind the throne – two women to whom the unpredictable Kim turns for advice.
But her absence from official photographs has led to speculation she could have fallen out of favour with a husband who is swift to deliver punishment to anyone who shows the slightest sign of disloyalty.
Happy leader: Kim Jong Un was photographed laughing heartily with a handful of generals as he toured the warehouse – stage one of a series of ‘field guidance’ trips that also included a military design centre and a luxury ski resort
Happy leader: State-controlled news agency KCNA said he ‘couldn’t hold back joy or stop smiling’ after being told fish production had grown dramatically this year
Tour: Kim’s wave of public appearances around the country were intended to demonstrate his firm grip on power following the shock execution of his uncle, said analysts
Yesterday, the despot spent the anniversary of his father’s death laughing heartily at a fishery today – just days after he executed his uncle.
Kim was photographed joking with a handful of generals as he toured the warehouse, in an undisclosed location in the hideaway state, where he praised the piles of fish as being like ‘an ammunition depot full of artillery’.
The official visit formed stage one of a series of ‘field guidance’ trips that also included a military design centre and a luxury ski resort.
The cheerful visit was a marked contrast to a ceremony being held in his absence in Pyongyang that saw thousands of North Koreans pledge their loyalty to him and remember his father who died on December 17 2011.
‘He couldn’t hold back joy or stop smiling [after being told fish production had grown dramatically this year],’ state-controlled news agency KCNA said.
‘(Kim) smiled radiantly looking at the warehouse packed with stacks of fish, saying it looked like an ammunition depot full of artillery,’ it added.
He smiled and ‘highly praised’ the manager of a fisheries station controlled by a military unit as a ‘hero’ for catching big hauls of fish during his visit, the KCNA said.
Analysts claim Kim’s whirlwind weekend tour around the country was intended to demonstrate his firm grip on power following the shock execution of his uncle.
Meanwhile in Pyongyang, thousands of soldiers, wearing dark olive green uniforms and winter hats, swore to safeguard Kim with their lives during a memorial service in a square outside the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, home to the embalmed bodies of his father and grandfather.
The synchronised troops carried huge banners that read: ‘Let’s hold great comrade Kim Jong-un in high esteem as the sole center of unity and leadership.’
Pictures released by the North’s official news agency showed crowds kneeling silently in the shadows of two giant bronze statues of Kim Il-Sung, the country’s founder, and his son Kim Jong-Il.
They were followed by citizens who laid wreaths at the sacred site in honour of the dead former leader.
Dynasty: The memorial marked two years since the death of Kim Jong Un’s father Kim Jong Il (left) whose body lies embalmed next to that of his father, the founder of North Korea, Kim Il Sung (right)
Kim Jong-Un took power after his father’s death, in the country’s second dynastic succession.
Soldiers and citizens assembled outside the Pyongyang landmark reaffirmed loyalty to the young leader, according to the caption of one picture.
Another photo showed a march by soldiers carrying red flags, watched by military leaders.
North Korea stunned the world last week by announcing the execution of Jang Song-Thaek, the uncle of the young Kim and the man once seen as his political regent.
His execution Thursday for corruption and plotting to overthrow the state – just days after he was ousted from all his party and military positions – marks the biggest political upheaval since Jong-Un inherited power.
The Kim dynasty has ruled the isolated country for more than six decades with an iron fist and a pervasive personally cult.
Source : Daily mail