‘Kim Jong-un’s Health Conditions – Rumor Speculation’
Seoul (Reuters) : North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was not gravely ill, two South Korean government sources said on Tuesday, following reports he had undergone a cardiovascular procedure and was now in ‘grave danger’ .
Kim was receiving treatment after undergoing the procedure, a South Korean media report said late on Monday, amid speculation over Kim’s health following his absence from a key anniversary event this month.
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Daily NK, a Seoul based specialty website , cited unidentified sources inside the isolated state saying Kim is recovering at a villa in the Mount Kumgang resort county of Hyangsan on the east coast after undergoing the cardiovascular procedure at a hospital on April 12.
Also , CNN reported that Kim was in “grave danger”.
An authoritative U.S. source familiar with internal U.S. government reporting on North Korea questioned the CNN report that Kim is seriously ill, even though he has been out of the public eye for an extended period.
There has been speculation over Kim’s health after he was absent from an event marking the anniversary of the birthday of its founding father and Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, on April 15.
The reports about Kim’s health are not true, two South Korean government sources said. The presidential Blue House said there are no unusual signs coming from the North.
When Did Speculation Start ?
Kim Jong-un recently missed the celebration of his grandfather’s birthday on 15 April. This is one of the biggest events of the year, marking the birth of the nation’s founder.
Kim Jong-un has never missed it – and it seemed very unlikely that he would simply choose not to turn up.
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Inevitably, his absence prompted speculation and rumour, none of which is easy to substantiate.
Kim Jong-un last appeared in state media on 12 April “inspecting a pursuit assault plane group” in a handout that is undated. As ever, the images portrayed him as relaxed and at ease.
We know he chaired a key political meeting the day before, from state media despatches. But he has not been seen since
State media also made no mention of his presence at a reported missile test last week. He is usually pictured at these launches.
Reporting on North Korea is incredibly difficult at the best of times, so most speculation is drawn from departure from precedent.
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And now, the already secretive state is an even more extreme version of shutdown – after it closed borders at the end of January due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Not the first time he has ‘gone missing’
In 2014, Kim Jong-Un disappeared for 40 days from early September – which sparked a torrent of speculation, including that he had been ousted in a coup by other political grandees.
Then he re-appeared, pictured with a cane.
State media at the time admitted he was suffering from an “uncomfortable physical condition”, but did not address rumours that he was suffering from gout.
(News Sources : Reuters and BBC)