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Where is North Korean leader Kim Jong Un?

Anukul

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FILE PHOTO: abc.net.au

Although North Korean media has not mentioned anything about Kim Jong Un’s health, or whereabouts, there is intense international speculation that Kin Jong Un has fallen ill due to cardiovascular problems. It was first mentioned after CNN’s chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto kept claiming that “Kim Jong Un was in grave danger after surgery.”

However, South Korea’s presidential office said Mr Kim seems to be handling state affairs as usual and that it had no information about the rumours regarding his health. 2 South Korean government officials have also rejected the CNN report and South Korea’s presidential Blue House said there were no unusual signs from North Korea. China, North Korea’s only major ally has also dismissed the reports.

Due to the lack of credible information from the secretive nation it will be difficult for any nation to get answers on exactly what is happening inside North Korea. Many will be watching closely for any signs of movement in North Korean politics and news programs.

US President Donald Trump, who held historic summits with Kim Jong Un in 2018 and 2019, in an attempt to persuade him to give up his nuclear weapons, says, as far as he knows, the reports had not been confirmed and he “did not put much credence in them.”

“I just hope he’s doing fine, I’ve had a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un. And I’d like to see him do well. We’ll see how he does. We don’t know if the reports are true.”

Propaganda about Kim’s health first arose due to his absence on the anniversary of the birthday of North Korea’s founding father and Kim’s grandfather, Kim-il Sung, on April 15. The day is classified as one of the most important state holidays in North Korea.

Speculation often surfaces about North Korea’s leadership based on attendance at important state events.

It was a missed parade in 2008 which led to questions about Mr Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il’s health. It was later revealed he had suffered a stroke, and his health deteriorated until his death in 2011. There were no whispers of anything unusual in the days preceding the announcement of his death.

Today, the main headlines from KCNA (Korean Central News Agency) did not include any news on the leader of North Korea. The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper also carried older or undated remarks attributed to Kim in articles about the economy, the textile industry, city development, and other topics.

As usual, Kim’s name was plastered all over the newspaper, However it seems that his whereabouts were concealed. Or no one knew.

A website run by North Korean defectors, Daily NK, published claims that Mr Kim had been struggling with cardiovascular problems since August 2019 and was believed to be hospitalised on April 12. However the story’s English version carried a correction on Tuesday to say the report was based on a single unnamed source in North Korea, not multiple as it sated in the previous article.

“His health had deteriorated since August due to heavy smoking, obesity and overwork, and he was now receiving treatment at a villa in the Mount Myohyang resort north of the capital Pyongyang.” reported the Daily NK

Thae Yong Ho, a former North Korean deputy ambassador to London who defected to South Korea in 2016, said state media’s extended silence is unusual because it had been quick to previously dispel questions about the status of its leadership.

“Every time there is controversy about (Kim), North Korea would take action within days to show he is alive and well,”

“His absence from the April 15 anniversary worship, in particular, is unprecedented.”

SOURCE: ABC News | Reuters

 

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My name is Anukul, I a writer for the Thaiger, I specialise in translation articles and social media, and assisting with our video production. I previously worked at Phuket Gazette and attended BIS international school in Phuket.

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