NK’s Kim: Is He Is Or Is He Ain’t?

The reports for the past couple of weeks has been that Kim has disappeared from public eye……and that absence has started all sorts of rumors and speculations…..

Is he suffering from the Covid-19?  Did he have a stroke like his father? Is he in a coma?  Is he dead?

Kim Jong Un is either vegetative or dead after undergoing a failed cardiovascular procedure on April 12, according to Asian media reports—but Reuters has been unable to confirm or deny. All reports agree that China has sent a team of doctors and officials to North Korea to advise on the nation’s leader, but beyond that, it’s a wash. The Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Gendai reports that a member of the team said Kim grabbed his chest and fell to the ground on a visit to the countryside in early April, per the Jerusalem Post. The team member also said Kim’s accompanying doctor called for the team’s help, and Kim was in a vegetative state.

Kim Jong Un is either vegetative or dead after undergoing a failed cardiovascular procedure on April 12, according to Asian media reports—but Reuters has been unable to confirm or deny. All reports agree that China has sent a team of doctors and officials to North Korea to advise on the nation’s leader, but beyond that, it’s a wash. The Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Gendai reports that a member of the team said Kim grabbed his chest and fell to the ground on a visit to the countryside in early April, per the Jerusalem Post. The team member also said Kim’s accompanying doctor called for the team’s help, and Kim was in a vegetative state.

Is he is or is he ain’t?

Kim Jong Un hasn’t been seen in public in more than a week, but South Korea is refuting reports that the North Korean leader’s health is in danger. The denial came soon after a CNN report claiming that the US is monitoring intelligence suggesting Kim is “in grave danger” after an unspecified surgery, plus a report from South Korea’s Daily NK claiming Kim was recovering from a cardiovascular procedure. Two South Korean government sources say those reports are incorrect and Kim is not gravely ill, Reuters reports.

If he is not capable of using the reins of power who will step in and fill the leadership void?

Kim Jong Un is in a “vegetative state” or flat-out dead after a failed heart surgery. Or he’s got COVID-19. Or just a sprained ankle. The rumor mill is turning after reports emerged that a Chinese medical team had been dispatched to help North Korea’s leader in his time of need, the New York Times reports. With some Asian media outlets reporting the worst news, and Western media taking a mostly careful approach, we look at the latest:

  • ‘Shocked’: Sen. Lindsey Graham says he would be “shocked” if Kim wasn’t “dead or incapacitated” at this point, per the Hill. “You don’t let rumors like this go forever or go unanswered in a closed society, which is really a cult, not a country, called North Korea.”
  • Kim’s train—if it really is his train—could play a role. A US-based project called 38 North, which monitors North Korea, says the train has remained at the “leadership station” at Wonsan since at least Tuesday, per the Guardian. “The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast,” the project says.
  • ‘Game changer’: North Korea watchers are giving the story a raised eyebrow but won’t toll the death knell just yet, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Kim Jong Un’s death is a low-probability event,” says an Asan Institute research fellow. “But his death would be a game changer.”
  • Little sister: In that vein, the Daily Beast looks at Kim’s younger sister, 31-year-old Kim Yo Jong, who is apparently feared and respected for her high position in the North Korean government. But is she capable of leading the brutal regime if her brother dies? Fox News calls her “his most likely successor” and Reuters says she “has a firm control of key party functions, setting herself to be the main source of power behind a collective leadership.”
  • A half-brother: A rumor flourishing on messaging apps in South Korea has Kim in a coma and Kim Pyong-il, half-brother to Kim’s deceased father, already seizing power. The Asia Times reports that Pyong-il was once rising in the ranks before angering the elder Kim and spending time in exile.
  • No worries: Yet South Korea maintains that Kim Jong Un is “alive and well.” Moon Chung-in, the South Korean president’s top foreign policy adviser, tells CNN that Kim “has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected.”
  • And so? Whether any of this matters is open to interpretation. “Regardless of who assumes power, there are no indications that a successor would pursue different domestic or foreign policies,” writes Bruce Klingner, an ex-CIA Korea official, per the Washington

Some think it is his sister, Kim Yo Jong…..yes he has a sister and she is moving up in the governmental apparatus…..my thought as well…..what do we really know about sis?

Full siblings: Kim Yo Jong and Kim Jong Un have the same parents (their mother was a dancer who was one of Kim Jong Il’s wives), and she has for years been seen at her brother’s side at public functions, reports Reuters. The pair, along with another full sibling, Kim Jong Chol, who stays out of politics, are believed to have attended school in Switzerland. She is also believed to be married, possibly to the son of a powerful party secretary.

Her job: Kim Yo Jong is now an alternate member of the party’s decision-making body, which generally rubber-stamps Kim Jong Un’s mandates. But she would theoretically get to take part in debates on issues including military decisions. She is only the second woman known to get such an appointment. The first was her aunt, who hasn’t been seen in public in years and may be under house arrest. The aunt’s husband was executed in 2013, per the Times.

Since the position of Supreme Leader is a family affair then sister would be a logical person to step into the shoes of power.

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5 thoughts on “NK’s Kim: Is He Is Or Is He Ain’t?

  1. Unless anything changes significantly with respect to international relations, I doubt it matters who is in charge of the DPRK. I would be more interested to discover if this is actually some kind of coup, rather than a medical emergency. But the truth is unlikely to come out.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Pete reading South Korea’s responses I kinda feel they are protecting a source or better they have someone in the power seat waiting. chuq

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