N.K. leader continues public activity following uncle's execution

N.K. leader continues public activity following uncle's execution

SEOUL, Dec. 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has expressed deep condolences over the death of a ruling Workers' Party official, the North's state media reported Monday, just days after the execution of his once-powerful uncle.

Kim "paid silent tribute" to Kim Kuk-thae, a member of the political bureau of the party's central committee who died of acute heart failure on Friday at the age of 89, the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Kim also expressed profound condolences and warm consolation to the bereaved families, KCNA said in a dispatch.

Kim's latest public activity came just days after the North executed Jang Song-thaek, who had long been considered the North's No. 2 man and regent of the young and inexperienced leader.

Jang, Kim's once-powerful uncle, was executed on Thursday immediately after a special military tribunal found him guilty of treason, according to the North's state media.

In a separate dispatch on Monday, KCNA reported that Kim has visited a fisheries station controlled by a military unit.

Kim has also inspected a military institute for design, KCNA reported Saturday, marking Kim's first public activity since the execution of his uncle.

Kim's recent series of public activity is widely seen as his attempt to send a signal to the outside world that he is firmly in charge of his country that he took over in 2011 when his father, long-time leader Kim Jong-il, died suddenly of a heart attack.