New 'Kim Disappearing Act'? DPRK Head 'Absent' During North Korea's 'Hypersonic Missile Test'

© AP Photo / Ahn Young-joonPeople watch a TV showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019
People watch a TV showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.09.2021
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While KCNA reports do not mention Kim being present at either the missile test launch or Supreme People's Assembly session, they also don't explicitly state that he didn't attend the events.
North Korea announced it had tested a hypersonic missile on Tuesday but the country’s state media report contained no mention of DPRK Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un being present at the launch.
According to KCNA, the test launch was “watched” by Pak Jong-chon, “member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau and secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea,” together with “leading officials in the sector of national defence science.”
Kim Jong-un, however, is not mentioned in the report published on 29 September.
 In this June 30, 2019, file photo President Donald Trump, right, listens as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, speaks during their bilateral meeting inside the Freedom House at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.09.2021
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Another recent KCNA story about the “first sitting of the fifth session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly” also does not mention Kim being present, even as it lists numerous dignitaries who were in attendance by name.
Neither of the reports, however, specifically states that Kim Jong-un was absent from the events in question.
Kim Jong-un has previously triggered intense speculation in Western press after going AWOL for weeks, only to reemerge safe and sound. Following his most recent disappearing act, he popped up looking noticeably thinner.
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