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North Korea U.S. policy on hold amid Kim Jong Un 'coma' rumors

A South Korean analyst has said photos of Kim Jong Un issued after April 11 are "fake." File Photo by KCNA/UPI
A South Korean analyst has said photos of Kim Jong Un issued after April 11 are "fake." File Photo by KCNA/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 24 (UPI) -- North Korea could unveil new policies aimed at the United States and South Korea next year at a January congress of the Korean Workers' Party, according to The Institute for National Security Strategy in Seoul.

The analysis of anticipated North Korea developments comes days after a South Korean analyst had said Kim Jong Un likely fell into a coma after April 11, and that Pyongyang has been publishing "fake" photos of the North Korean leader.

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According to the INSS brief issued Monday, North Korea's statements on the Eighth Party Congress of January 2021, made known at a Central Committee meeting of the party last Wednesday, did not include information on South Korea or foreign policy.

For this reason and a few others, North Korea could be expected to make foreign policy announcements in January.

The South Korean brief also said the North Koreans are aware the key to resolving their economic crisis is to "go through the United States" or obtain sanctions relief. North Korea may also be undecided about next moves until the outcome of the U.S. presidential election is final, the analysis said.

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The central committee meeting held last week included Kim Jong Un in state media photos, but at least one South Korean analyst claims the photos and other evidence of Kim's status are fake.

Chang Seong-min, chairman of the World and Northeast Asia Peace Forum and a former aide to President Kim Dae-jung, told local news service Kuki News that all recent images of the North Korean leader are false and are being used to cover up illness.

Chang also said North Korean first lady Ri Sol Ju has not appeared in public for 120 days, and it is likely top North Korean official Choe Ryong Hae "is in control."

Kim Yo Jong's increased presence on the political stage provides further evidence the North Korean leader is confined to bed, or that North Korea has undergone a coup, Chang said.

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