Exclusive: Entry to Pyongyang cut off
North Korea restricted entry and exit permissions to Pyongyang three days ago, a New Focus correspondent reports. The source could not confirm whether this move was related to Kim Jong-un’s disappearance from the public eye for the past 26 days.
On the ground, the measure is informally being suggested to be a part of the Party’s preparations for the upcoming October 10 celebrations regrding the founding of the Korean Worker’s Party.
But the difference of this occasion from past restrictions is that even Pyongyang residents, who had been out of the capital for business in Sinuiju or Najin-Sonbong, are not being issued with permissions to re-enter the capital.
According to the source, the restriction may be more severe this time round due to the meeting of the Supreme People’s Assembly having conlcuded only recently. Whether the severe restriction has been placed because Kim Jong-un’s health is poor as outsiders have been suggesting, or it is connected only to the Party’s anniversary celebrations, entry and exit permissions in and out of Pyongyang are prohibited for now.
When asked about outside speculations regarding Kim Jong-un’s health in the wake of his disappearance from public view, the correspondent replied that enigma arising from disappearance and re-appearance was a tactic that had frequently been employed under Kim Jong-il, taking deliberate and political advantage of obssessive outside media attention.
Reporting by Lee Hyangrim.
Translated by Haeryun Kang, edited by Shirley Lee.
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