North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un rumored dead…or possibly just fine


White House (Flickr)

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Ole Olafson, Reporter

On Saturday, a Hong Kong broadcasting network reported that North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un, had died.

A Japanese magazine contended the communist leader was lying in a “vegetative state”.

North Korean media are saying everything is just fine with their leader’s health.

President Trump reportedly knows of his condition but won’t say anything other than there is no reason to believe the leader is seriously ill.

According to a New York Times article out of Seoul, South Korea published Sunday, by Choe Sang-Hun, rumors vary from Kim recovering from a minor medical issue to serious post heart surgery problems, to being stricken with COVID-19 (even though North Korea reports zero cases of the disease).

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul summed it up.

“North Korea’s secrecy and our lack of reliable information create a breeding ground for rumors.  But his continued absence would be destabilizing as more people in and outside the country wonder if he is incapacitated or dead.  Easley said, according to the article.

Choe says that Kim has not been seen in public since April 11 and he was not present for the biggest North Korean holiday of the year, the founder of North Korea and Kim’s Grandfather, Kim Il-sung’s birthday, celebrated on April 15.

Choe claims that Kim has both disappeared for weeks and had rumored health problems before.

Dana Kennedy reported for the New York Post on Saturday that it took several days on both occasions before North Korean officials released the news when Kim’s Father and Grandfather died of  heart attacks.

There aren’t many family members left to take over after Jong Un apparently had his half-brother Jong Choi assassinated in 2017.

Kennedy claims the most likely successor, if Kim has actually dided, would be his younger sister and Chief Aide, Kim Yo Jong.

Sung-Yoon Lee, a North Korea expert at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Diplomacy, commented about the possibility of a female leader.

“It would be unprecedented and shocking for there to be a female Great Leader, but it wouldn’t be heresy.  The need to keep power in the family trumps everything, including any traditions of chauvinism or misogyny in North Korea,” she told The Post.