Health Speculations – Where’s Kim?

Death from heart attack, coma after surgery: Rumors are spreading around North Korea’s dictator.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was last seen on April 11. The head of state had attended a meeting of the Politburo.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was last seen on April 11. The head of state had attended a meeting of the Politburo.

Photo: AP / Keystone

April is the most important month in the North Korean calendar. On the 15th, the country celebrates the highest holiday, the day of the sun, the birthday of state founder Kim Il-sung. Grandfather Kim would have been 108 this year. But grandson Kim Jong-un was absent from the festivities in the pyramid mausoleum. In North Korea, this borders on blasphemy. Then on April 25, the next day of remembrance: The Korean People’s Army was founded 88 years ago, and again Kim Jong-un was absent. So where is the ruler?

A television station from Hong Kong even reported that Kim had died.

As is so often the case when it comes to hermetically sealed North Korea, the news situation is extremely contradictory: a television station from Hong Kong even reported on Saturday that Kim Jong-un was dead and died of a heart attack. This spread very quickly on Twitter. Japanese newspapers read that the dictator was in a coma. Neither can be checked.

In the North Korean media, however, there is not a single word about Kim Jong-un’s whereabouts. On Saturday, the official news agency KCNA merely reported that the ruler received a greeting from the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation on the occasion of the first anniversary of the joint summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kim Jong-Uns train was spotted on the east coast of North Korea, according to a satellite image.

Kim Jong-Uns train was spotted on the east coast of North Korea, according to a satellite image.

Photo: PD

After all: Kim Jong-uns private train has been spotted on the east coast of the country. The American news site “38 North”, which specializes in North Korea, published satellite images on Saturday that are said to have come from the previous week. Regarding the satellite images, the US experts themselves wrote that the 250-meter-long train’s stay in Wonsan says nothing about where Kim is and what his health is like. The train could therefore have arrived at the station reserved for the leadership of the communist country before April 21. He was still there on April 23.

I have a good relationship with Kim Jong-un and I hope he is doing well. ┬╗

Donald Trump, U.S. President

Speculations about Kim Jong-un started earlier last week. After not attending the April 15 celebrations, the South Korean news portal Daily NK wrote that Kim had undergone a heart surgery on April 12. He recovered after an operation. Shortly afterwards, the US news channel CNN followed up, citing American sources that Kim was “in serious danger” after an operation. US President Donald Trump disagreed. “I think the report was wrong,” Trump said on Thursday. “We have a good relationship with North Korea, I have a good relationship with Kim Jong-un and I hope that he is doing well,” Trump added. The Presidential Office in South Korea also rejected the reports. Kim is “alive and well,” said South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s foreign policy adviser this weekend.

Already gone for six weeks

As early as 2014, Kim Jong-un disappeared for six weeks, no photos, no more reports in the state media. Back then it was wildly speculated that he suffered from gout, had an ankle injury, and even a coup d’├ętat was suspected. But Kim came back. So everything like six years ago?

It is noteworthy that this time the Chinese leadership, Pyongyang’s closest ally, is said to have sent a delegation with government officials and doctors to the neighboring country – in the middle of the Corona crisis. Several people familiar with the situation told Reuters that the delegation, headed by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department, left Beijing on Thursday. The department is the most important body of the People’s Republic that deals with the neighboring country of North Korea.

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