Kim Jong-il focuses on economic sites for ‘field guidance’ trips this year

According to Yonhap:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il paid more visits to factories and other economy-related sites than to military units and other locations this year in a sign that the autocratic leader is trying to improve internal unity, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said Monday.

Kim has made a total of 148 “field guidance” trips across the country this year, with 58 of them, or 40 percent, made to economic sites and 33 visits to military units, ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung told reporters.

In particular, Kim made 16 public appearances in November, and only one of them was a visit to the military while seven were to economic sites, a ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

“This is seen as an attempt to promote internal unity or to demonstrate he is in charge,” the official said.

Kim’s sister, Kim Kyong-hui, and his brother-in-law, Jang Song-thaek, accompanied Kim on most of the field trips in November, the official said.

Since the North’s deadly shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23, Kim has made a dozen public appearances, with seven of them to economic sites.

Kim’s heir-apparent and youngest son, Kim Jong-un, accompanied his father on 28 of the 148 field trips this year, according to the ministry.

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Kim Jong-il focuses on economic sites for ‘field guidance’ trips this year


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