N. Korean leader apparently skips visit to mausoleum on late father’s birthday

SEOUL, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appears to have skipped a visit to a mausoleum for his late father, Kim Jong-il, for yet another year on the occasion of the former leader's 82nd birthday. The North's Korean central News Agency (KCNA) reported Saturday that key officials, including Premier Kim Tok-hun and Choe Ryong-hae, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly, visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun the previous day. It did not carry any report on Kim's attendance. If confirmed, it would mark the third straight year in which the North Korean leader skipped his visit to the mausoleum, where the bodies of his late father and grandfather lie in state, on their birthdays that the North celebrates as its most important holidays. The KCNA meanwhile reported that various events, such as performances and fireworks, were held nationwide to celebrate the former leader's birthday on Feb. 16. Kim sent stationery and food products to students and children as gifts on the occasion of the anniversary, it added. Source: Yonhap News Agency