North Korean Leader Misses Annual Mausoleum Visit on Father’s Birthday

SEOUL - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not attend the traditional visit to the mausoleum of his late father, Kim Jong-il, on what would have been the former leader's 82nd birthday, continuing his absence for the third consecutive year. According to reports from the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Saturday, notable figures such as Premier Kim Tok-hun and Choe Ryong-hae, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly, were present at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on the previous day, but there was no mention of Kim Jong-un's participation.

According to Yonhap News Agency, This absence, if confirmed, marks a significant departure from tradition, as visits to the mausoleum, which houses the bodies of both his father and grandfather, are considered a key ceremonial duty on dates celebrated as major holidays in North Korea. The KCNA did highlight that the country observed the former leader's birthday on February 16 with various events, including performances and fireworks, indicating a nationwide celebration.

Additionally, Kim Jong-un reportedly contributed to the festivities by sending stationery and food products to students and children as gifts, commemorating the anniversary. This gesture aligns with the North's tradition of marking significant state anniversaries with public celebrations and acts of generosity towards its younger citizens.

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