Ever since North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un failed to appear at a major national celebration earlier in April, there has been rampant speculation about his apparent disappearance and the status of his health.
A report on Friday from UPI, citing South Korean news outlets, alleged that Kim had been evacuated from the capital of Pyongyang and was believed to be located near the coastal city of Wonsan.
Kim’s location unclear
The South Korean media outlet Newsis, in turn, cited South Korean intelligence officials as having claimed to observed movement among Kim’s “dedicated vehicles,” and while a special train for Kim had reportedly been spotted in Wonsan, the dictator’s private plane was believed to still be located in Pyongyang.
Reports from February suggested that Kim had initially retreated to the resort in Wonsan to steer clear of an outbreak of the new coronavirus among government and party officials in Pyongyang, but he was believed to have returned. However, other South Korean media sources suggested that Kim may not be in Wonsan again but instead could be moving around among a variety of different locations.
Speculation about Kim’s health has also been mixed, with some news outlets suggesting Kim himself contracted the coronavirus or recently underwent heart surgery and suffered complications, though a South Korean lawmaker with ties to the nation’s defense community said it is believed that Kim isn’t sick at all and is “doing well.”
Health speculation continues
Fox News reported on the suspicion that Kim had suffered complications during an emergency heart surgery and cited a Japanese news source claiming that, following surgery to implant a stent, Kim had fallen into a “vegetative state.”
That news source, a Japanese magazine known as Shukan Gendai, asserted that Kim collapsed during a visit to a rural area and required emergency heart surgery, according to Fox News.
Unfortunately, according to an alleged member of Kim’s medical team, the surgeon experienced difficulties due to extreme nervousness, as well as Kim’s obesity, and the surgery had not gone as planned, leaving Kim in a sort of coma.
China sends medical experts to help
Also on Friday, Reuters reported exclusively that the communist Chinese regime had dispatched a high-level diplomatic team to North Korea that included medical experts and was led by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liason Department, which is the arm responsible for relations with North Korea.
Obviously, given the secretive nature of both communist regimes in China and North Korea, nothing has been confirmed on the record. As such, there is no way to know for sure right now whether Kim is in “grave danger” or “doing well” — or even if he is already dead.
Reuters noted that Kim has not been seen in public since April 11, when he presided over a governmental meeting, and that he was noticeably absent from a major celebration on April 15 marking the birthday of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung.
UPI noted that there was another major event scheduled for Saturday, North Korea’s Military Foundation Day, that Kim would normally be expected to attend, assuming he is in good health or not quarantined from the virus. Only time will tell what the dictator’s health status truly is.