PYONGYANG—Explaining that the highest levels of government were currently in a state of disarray, international affairs experts confirmed Friday that the continuing absence of Kim Jong-un had left top-ranking North Korean officials with nobody to agree with. “North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly and National Defence Commission have effectively been brought to a standstill, as government figures have had no one to heartily concur with, repeat verbatim, and then congratulate for their careful thought and insight,” said Henry Lawrence of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, who noted that North Korea’s political, economic, and military structures are built around a regimented system of repeating the words “Yes, certainly” and respectful nodding. “As long as Kim continues to face health problems, this agreement vacuum at the top of the North Korean power structure could grow even more acute. It’s hard to see how this country can move forward much longer without someone whose views top bureaucrats can vigorously assent to while bowing.” Lawrence noted, however, that Kim’s absence over the past 37 days had afforded officials some much-needed time to catch up on a backlog of executions.
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