The world became suspicious about Kim’s health when he missed a celebration for his grandfather’s birthday on April 15.
News about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s possible demise blew up social media on Monday night when CNN first reported that a source told the network Kim was in “grave danger” after surgery. MSNBC’s Katy Tur tweeted (then deleted) Kim is brain dead. South Korea responded that Kim is perfectly fine.
What is going on in the hermit kingdom?
A few people jumped on CNN and Tur after South Korea disputed reports about Kim:
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) April 21, 2020
If true, this is another colossal embarrassment for Jim Sciutto and CNN. https://t.co/qBsCukLU1q
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 21, 2020
Honestly, though, it is never easy to report any news about North Korea. Do you trust anyone when it comes to North Korea news?
I trust South Korea the most since it, for obvious reasons, keeps a close eye on the trigger-happy Kim family.
But I don’t believe everything is going well in North Korea.
It is unusual to see a lot of Kim. But how come he did not show up for the celebration of his grandfather’s birthday on April 15? That is the biggest holiday for the Communist country:
Kim last appeared in North Korean state media on April 11. April 15 — North Korea’s most important holiday, the anniversary of the birth of the country’s founding father, Kim Il Sung — came and went without any official mention of Kim Jong Un’s movements.
Experts are unsure of what to make of Kim’s absence from any festivities celebrating his grandfather. When North Korean leaders have not shown up to these important celebrations in the past, it has portended major developments. But it has also turned out to be nothing.
“There have been a number of recent rumors about Kim’s health (smoking, heart, and brain). If Kim is hospitalized, it would explain why he wasn’t present on the important April 15th celebrations,” said Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and former CIA deputy division chief for North Korea. “But, over the years, there have been a number of false health rumors about Kim Jong-un or his father. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Kim Jong Il’s absence from a parade celebrating North Korea’s 60th anniversary in 2008 was followed by rumblings that he was in poor health. It was later revealed he had a stroke, after which his health continued to decline until his death in 2011.
South Korea’s presidential Blue House responded that no one has detected any “unusual activity” from North Korea:
But he had presided over a meeting April 11, discussing coronavirus prevention and electing his sister as an alternate member of the political bureau of the ruling Workers’ Party. And state media have since reported Kim sent greetings to Syrian President Bashar Assad and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel as well as “birthday spreads” to two North Korean officials and a new centenarian.
“We have no information to confirm regarding rumors about Chairman Kim Jong Un’s health issue that have been reported by some media outlets. Also, no unusual developments have been detected inside North Korea,” Blue House spokesman Kang Min-seok said in the statement.
The Blue House later said Kim was believed to be staying at an unspecified location outside of Pyongyang with some of his close confidants. The office said Kim appeared to be normally engaged with state affairs and there weren’t any unusual movement or emergency reaction from the North’s ruling party, military or cabinet.
Conservative South Korean lawmaker Yoon Sang-hyun claimed an official told him “that Kim had surgery over cardiovascular problems.” Another official from Seoul’s National Intelligence Service said the “agency couldn’t confirm whether Kim had surgery.”
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim In-chul explained that Seoul and Washington, D.C., remain in contact, but remained vague when someone asked him if the two sides spoke about Kim’s health.
Who knows? Maybe Rocket Man wants to stay out of the limelight so we talk about him. Maybe he is jealous the Wuhan coronavirus took all the attention.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.