PYONGYANG, North Korea, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's frequent visits to the military could be a sign of weakness and an effort to foster loyalty to the regime, an analyst said.
Kim, who ascended to power in December after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, visited eight military units in January alone, Yonhap News Agency said an analysis of North Korean news reports indicated Tuesday. He also visited an institute for military officials, attended a military orchestra concert and stopped by a construction site managed by the armed forces.
Kim is a four-star general and was declared supreme commander of North Korea's armed forces after his father's death, although analysts told Yonhap they think he has little, if any, military experience.
"The fact that Kim Jong Un is making such frequent visits to military units is evidence that he does not enjoy solid support within the armed forces," said Baek Seung-joo, a senior analyst at the Korea Institute of Defense Analyses. "[The visits] are aimed at boosting his presence among military officials and consolidating his power base."
Kim Jong Il, who ruled the country for 17 years, met with the military once in 14 public appearances in January 2011.
Baek said prompt reporting by North Korea's state-run media also may be an effort to convince North Koreans that the younger Kim has authority within the armed forces.