North Korean leader Kim Jong Un apparently injured his right wrist after recent footage of him on North Korean television showed him wearing what looked like a bandage in a rare moment that goes against his family’s cult of personality. Kim reportedly suffered the injury this week, nearly eight months after he disappeared from public view when he underwent ankle surgery. The absence sparked rumors of a coup within North Korea.
The bandage can be seen from this screen grab of footage from North Korean Central TV, which shows Kim visiting a munitions factory in Pyongyang on Thursday. "He didn't have the injury when he inspected a military unit on April 4, so it must be recent,” a South Korean military official told the South Korean media outlet the Chosun Ilbo.
The injury was a rare acknowledgement that Kim is human, in contrast to the legend of his late father, Kim Jong Il, who has a song dedicated to him called “Kim Jong Il is Immortal as Sun.” Kim Jong Il died in 2011. But the cult of personality first started by Kim’s grandfather and North Korea’s founder, Kim Il Song, is continuing with Kim Jong Un. Teachers were given manuals that portrayed Kim Jong Un as being a masterful driver at age 3 who can also compose musical scores, paint and sail.
"At the age of 9, Kim Jong-un raced the chief executive of a foreign yacht company who was visiting North Korea at the time,” the manual says, as reported Thursday in the Telegraph, which cited South Korean media.
Also on Thursday, North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly met in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, to go over the government’s agenda for 2015. "The major task for this year is to solve food problems for the people, increase electricity generation, and become self-reliant by boosting the agriculture, livestock and fisheries industries,” said North Korean Prime Minister Pak Pong-ju, Chosun Ilbo reported. Kim did not attend the meeting.