China media: Kim Jong-un in full control of North Korea

Kim Jong-un made his first public appearance on Tuesday after a gap of 40 days Image copyright AFP
Image caption Kim Jong-un made his first public appearance on Tuesday after a gap of 40 days

Media in China have praised North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for keeping the country "stable" during his brief absence from the public eye.

According to North Korea's official news agency KCNA, Mr Kim made his first appearance since 3 September on Tuesday.

He was reportedly giving "field guidance" at a newly built scientists' residential district. The absence of the 32-year-old leader had prompted a flurry of speculation about his health while some questioned if he remained in control of the state.

'Chess game'

A report in the Xinhua News Agency gives information on what may have happened in North Korea in the past 40 days.

The article notes that during Mr Kim's absence, North Korea continued to hold "several major events" including the 10 October anniversary of the establishment of the Korean Worker's Party, and the Foundation Day of the North Korean State on 9 September.

Noticing the "new movements in North Korea's diplomacy", the report says the country continued to "hit out in all directions" by sending top officials for overseas visits to Europe, Mongolia, the United Nations, Russia and South Korea.

Another Xinhua commentary describes the series of domestic events and diplomatic activities during the absence as "a chess game set up by him".

"In these 40 days, the politics and foreign diplomacy of North Korea has carried on according to his plan. This shows that the country is pro-actively striking out to break the deadlock in foreign relations, and the strategy is now blossoming everywhere," says the article.

"All this is a part of the chess game set up by him when he was recuperating. In these 40 days, North Korea's domestic politics and foreign affairs have remained stable and open," it says.

Analysts interviewed by the Global Times feel Mr Kim's reappearance shows that his grip on power "is still intact".

Li Dunqiu, an expert in Korean studies Zhejiang University, notes that the North Korean media has disclosed Mr Kim's health condition, and this shows that the North Korean government "has become more transparent".

Cheong Seong-chang, a senior fellow of the Sejong Institute in South Korea, feels that Mr Kim "was trying to earn sympathy from North Koreans by revealing his health condition, which shows a different style of leadership as compared to his father Kim Jong-il, who tried to hide the fact he had surgery in 2008".

Observing that the border region between China and North Korea is "peaceful as usual", a report in the paper's Chinese edition points out that the rumour about Mr Kim's health had not affected trade and tourism between China and North Korea.

Nobel 'hostility'

An article in the Beijing Times speculates that Mr Kim was using a "new strategy" of "playing missing-in-action" to recapture international attention.

The Beijing News, however, points out that rumours about his health could have prompted Mr Kim to reappear. "If this is so, this shows that Kim Jong-un is aware of the importance of international opinion," says a commentary in the paper.

Meanwhile, state-run media reiterate strong support for Hong Kong's government amid pro-democracy protests in the city.

Demonstrators have occupied parts of Hong Kong for more than two weeks ,demanding fully free elections in the next vote for the territory's leader.

An article in the People's Daily praises the territory's administration for "steadily handling the protest in accordance with the law", saying it has won "praises from the wider public" as well as "recognition from the central government".

And finally, some media outlets criticise the Nobel Prize committee for being "out of touch" and not recognising talents from China.

"This year's Nobel Prizes have all been awarded and Chinese candidates received nothing," the Global Times remarks.

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and Chinese imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded in 2010, while writer Mo Yan was the recipient for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012.

Commenting on the Peace Prize recipients, the article points out that both winners of this year "were challengers to Chinese politics".

"This shows the hostility of certain Western forces and the Nobel committee toward China's political system…So far, no Chinese mainstream economist has won the Nobel Prize for Economics", it notes.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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