Even as the world grapples with a pandemic, news has been filtering in from North Korea which claimed that all powerful dictator and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un was either dead or not well.
A Japanese weekly called Shukan Gendai said on Friday that a Chinese medic sent to North Korea as part of the team to treat Kim believed a delay in heart procedure left the leader ill. North Korean media, quick to refute usually, has been silent on the leader’s health or whereabouts.
The Chinese medical expert meanwhile claimed Kim Jong Un fell to the ground during a visit earlier this month. It’s believed the 36-year-old needed a stent procedure.
Seoul-based NK Daily had reported that Kim was recovering after undergoing a procedure on April 12.
South Korean officials have officially said they have not detected any unusual activity. Donald Trump is also believed have downplayed reports about the dictator’s health, as did the US intelligence.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that a special train belonging to the North Korean ruler was spotted in a resort town, according to satellite images reviewed by a Washington-based North Korea monitoring project. The train was parked in Wonsan on 21 April and 23 April. The station is only used by the family.
The report though stated: “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 North Korean Succession Line
The nation as founded by Kim Il-Sung in 1948 whose oldest son Kim Jong-il became was chose as his heir. Kim Jong-il’s son Kim Jong-un was designed as his survivor.
Interestingly, in 2008, Kim Jong-Il failed to appear at an important function and was presumed dead. In 2011, the North Korean government announced that Kim Jong-un had been picked as his successor.
It’s unknown whether Kim Jong-un has a designated successor, but the belief is that it will be Kim Yo Jong, the dictator’s sister.
Kim Jong Un’s close confidante rocketed to international fame during the 208 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Not much is known about her, even though some have labelled her the ‘Ivanka Trump of North Korea’.
She attended school in Switzerland where she took ballet Lessons before returning to North Korea in the 2000s.
While there’s no precedent of a woman stepping in, it’d be fitting if 2020 saw the rise of the first North Korean female dictator.