North Korea: Vietnam trip strengthened Kim's 'international authority' - Kogonuso

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Mar 6, 2019

North Korea: Vietnam trip strengthened Kim's 'international authority'

North Korea's top-level bureaucrats are strengthening their support of Kim Jong Un, even as the second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump is secretly being evaluated as a "failure" among the population.

In a series of statements published in Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, Pyongyang government officials and university administrators voiced unanimous support for Kim without addressing the failed talks.

Pak Thae Dok, a vice chair of the party's central committee, said the North Korean leader's "epic journey of more than 20,000 li," a traditional unit of distance, had raised the dignity of a self-reliant North Korea.

Kim Dok Hun, a deputy minister in North Korea's cabinet, said Kim Jong Un's activities abroad had "strengthened the international authority" of the country. The North Korean leader's "binding of the people, day and night...secures the bright future and happiness" of the North Korean people, the article in the Rodong read.

Pak Myong Jin, the vice chair of North Korea's Kim Il Sung-Kim Jong Il youth alliance, said Kim realized "a miracle" through his activities as leader.

The statements appear to be targeting the population, where opinion may be privately divided over the results of Kim's trip.

North Korea has not said the summit did not fulfill Kim's objectives, and has instead described the trip as a "productive visit."

Kim Dong-yup, a South Korean analyst at Kyungnam University, told Newsis ordinary North Koreans do know Kim's summit with Trump did take place. The government is constructing a narrative that could fill the gap left by the lack of information on the summit, the analyst said.

Talks may have broken down in Hanoi over the issue of a second uranium-enrichment plant in the North.

According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Beyond Parallel website, North Korea has not stopped activities at key sites, including the Sohae Launch Facility.

The site was used to launch satellites, and has used intercontinental ballistic missile technology banned by the United Nations Security Council.
 

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