Kim Jong-un rumored to be in ‘vegetative state’—reports

By: The Korean Herald/Asia News Network via Inquirer.net - Inquirer.net | April 26,2020 - 01:52 PM

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. KCNA-Yonhap via The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

SEOUL — Speculations mounted Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is dead, amid conflicting accounts about his health being reported since he disappeared from public view two weeks ago. But the exact situation remains unclear with unconfirmed claims.

A vice director of Hong Kong Satellite Television Shijian Xingzou claimed that Kim has already died, citing a “very solid source,” according to media reports. Separately, Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai reported he was in a “vegetative state,” after he underwent a heart surgery earlier this month, and cannot recuperate. South Korean media outlet Monthly Chosun also reported the leader was in coma.

None of these claims have been confirmed as of now.

Despite the speculations, North Korea has kept mum on Kim’s health or his whereabouts. The only mention was that he expressed thanks to workers building facilities in Samjiyon, situated near Paektusan, according to the Korea Central News Agency.

The rumors on Kim’s health arose when he skipped an annual event at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on April 15 to commemorate the birthday of his late grandfather, national founder Kim Il-sung. Kim Jong-un was last seen April 11, when he presided over a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party.

Multiple reports followed, including that Kim is in “grave danger,” after undergoing surgery.

The South Korean government has downplayed the reports, saying “no unusual developments have been detected.”

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TAGS: Kim Jong-Un, Korea, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

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