December 06, 2022

Kim Jong Un skips full year of military drills and missile tests for first time

Health issues likely played a role in abnormally inactive year for North Korean leader

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not officially appear at any of the country’s missile tests or military drills for the entire calendar year, the first time he has done so since coming to power 10 years ago, according to new analysis of NK Pro Leadership Tracker and Missile Tracker data. 

Kim’s absences throughout 2021 came amid his least active year yet in terms of field inspections and official travel around the country, both considered vital tasks of the leader under official North Korean state mythology and propaganda.