Written by PAEK Chang-ryong, a defector reporter.
It was discovered that the North Korean 2014 calendar does not mark the birthday of the First Secretary, Kim Jong-un. His birthday is 8 January, which is blank in the newly published calendar. The ASIAPRESS North Korea Reporting Team obtained the calendar from a North Korean trader in China.
On the 2014 calendar, which features prominent North Korean screen actors, the date of Kim Jong-un's birthday is left blank. This means the North Korean state does not recognize this day as a national holiday.
Other national holidays remain unchanged from the 2013 calendar, this includes the birthdays of Kim Il-sung on 15 April, and Kim Jong-il on 16 February, both marked in a red letter.
There was speculation that this year's 8 January would be marked as a national holiday since the North Korean state has been forging ahead with the idolization and absolutization of Kim Jong-un following the death of Kim Jong-il in 2011.
However, it seems that the state plans to develop a series of images imbuing moralistic ideals for the duration of the three-year mourning period. This is in accordance with Confucian dictates, predominant in Korean traditions. It is also related to the fact that the North Korean supreme leader should be revered as the 'greatest personification of moral obligation'.
The true reasons for the omission to the 2014 calendar are as yet unclear, but there is a possibility that Kim Jong-un felt pressured to wait to include his own birthday on the list of nationally observed days, following the massive liquidations currently taking place since the execution of Jang Song-thaek, former Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission.
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