- The Washington Times - Friday, October 10, 2014

North Korea’s missing-in-action dictator, Kim Jong-un, didn’t show for a key ceremony on Friday that was staged in part to pay tribute to his dead father and grandfather — a mysterious absence that only fuels talk that he’s no longer in charge.

Mr. Kim’s name wasn’t listed on the attendance form at the Kamsusuan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang for the 69th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of North Korea, a national anniversary that also marks the passing of former North Korean leaders, CNN reported.

The Workers’ Party was created in 1945 and is the nation’s most-revered institution — next to the military.

North Korea’s media, KCNA, said the highest-ranking official to attend was Hwang Pyong So, the second most important leader. Mr. Kim, meanwhile, hasn’t been seen in public since Sept. 3, when he attended a concert with his wife. Analysts are confounded by his disappearance, which state-run media simply explains as due to the dictator’s medical “discomfort,” CNN said.

“Whenever someone doesn’t show up in the public, we tend to speculate something of a power struggle,” said Han Park, author of “North Korea Demystified.”

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