Not Dead After All: "Ailing" Dictator Returns to Public Life...

Posted: Oct 14, 2014 4:30 PM

sporting a cane? Oh my.

His late daddy and granddaddy (who the Associated Press reports never appeared in public looking so outwardly vulnerable and weak) must be rolling in their graves:

After vanishing from the public eye for nearly six weeks, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is back, ending rumors that he was gravely ill, deposed or worse.

Now, a new, albeit smaller, mystery has emerged: Why the cane?

Kim, who was last seen publicly at a Sept. 3 concert, appeared in images released by state media Tuesday smiling broadly and supporting himself with a walking stick while touring the newly built Wisong Scientists Residential District and another new institute in Pyongyang, part of his regular "field guidance" tours. The North didn't say when the visit happened, nor did it address the leader's health.

Kim's appearance allowed the country's massive propaganda apparatus to continue doing what it does best — glorify the third generation of Kim family rule. And it will tamp down, at least for the moment, rampant rumors of a coup and serious health problems.

Kim, for his part, was probably unable to bear the endless speculation any longer. Since he’s been missing in action for weeks now (and last seen looking fatter and more ridiculous than ever) he must have decided it was finally time to come out of the shadows, lest the world think he was permanently disabled or something. His reemergence, however, signifies one terrible thing: His reign of terror isn't over. Not even close.

But why does he now sport a cane? One expert told the AP that he was most likely recovering from ankle surgery and therefore needs one to aid his recovery. This is at least plausible -- and maybe even likely -- since it has been reported by the Telegraph and other publications that Kim had “become so fat while in office that his ankles…fractured under his own weight.”

That's utterly ridiculous but remember too he doesn't need perfect health to continue running an impoverished and third world police state. He can do that sitting down.