During a key state holiday on April 15th, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un failed to make a public appearance and has not been seen in public ever since, sparking rumors that Kim passed away. According to the South Korean government, Kim is alive and well however, not working or making decisions.
On Sunday, South Korea’s Kim Yeon-Chul, the official who oversees relations with North Korea, said that he was confident that South Korea’s intelligence community was certain there were no indications of anything unusual regarding Kim Jong-Un.
That did not stop the rumors. The Seoul-based newspaper Daily NK cited an anonymous source claiming that Kim had undergone heart surgery. Reuters later claimed that China sent a team of medical experts to North Korea to advise on Mr. Kim health last Thursday. Other South Korean media sources have speculated the leader may be in isolation to avoid Covid-19.
38 North, a website which publishes satellite information about North Korea, published an article that included a satellite image of a train parked in Jong-Un’s Wohsan compound. The article claimed that the train may belong to the leader, which provides an indication that Kim is currently away from the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
During a time of global crisis, many in North Korea look to their supreme leader as a source of strength and guidance. His disappearance from the public could spark anxiety among his public.
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