When Kim Jong-un went conspicuously missing out on for a month back in 2014, North Korean state media finally put rumors about the young totalitarian’s status to bed by revealing he was very much alive, just experiencing some “pain.”
Since Sunday, there were no such reports from state media in Poyngyang. And, with Mr. Kim now missing from public view for the previous 2 weeks, the rumor mill is beginning to churn at complete tilt.
Will his sibling Kim Yo Jong take power? What about his daddy’s half-brother Kim Pyong Il?
Those are just a few of the questions swirling in the lack of any official North Korean announcement about the 36- year-old Mr. Kim, an overweight cigarette smoker with a household history of cardiovascular disease who’s been understood to fall ill in the past.
While U.S. and regional intelligence sources advanced Sunday morning to securely push back versus foreign media reports– including a rising number this weekend that have declared Mr. Kim is “dead”– the theories about what’s really going on in infamously deceptive North Korea are mounting.
Some well respected Pyongyang watchers have actually already weighed in with predictions about the future of the program, as if Mr. Kim might truly be deceased.
” No matter who assumes power, there are no indications that a successor would pursue various domestic or foreign policies,” Bruce Klingner, a previous CIA Korea authorities now with the Heritage Structure composed in an analysis late last week.
David Maxwell, a retired Unique Forces colonel and North Korea expert with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was more sober on Saturday, reflecting in remarks flowed by e-mail that reports of satellite images revealing the North Korean totalitarian’s personal train parked at a special Kim household compound could indicate lots of things.
” This certainly adds to the mystery,” Mr. Maxwell stated. “He could be there to hide from the coronavirus or simply drinking cognac and cigarette smoking stogies chuckling about how the global neighborhood has worked itself into a [tizzy].”
” Or perhaps it exists to return his body to Pyongyang,” Mr. Maxwell included.
Such speculation is based upon the truth that no pictures of Mr. Kim in public have been released considering that April 11.
The reports have been growing since April 15, following Mr. Kim’s uncommon lack from the April 15 celebrations commemorating the birthday of his grandpa, Kim Il-sung, creator of the household’s Communist dynasty.
South Korea’s main Yonhap News Company has since reported that Mr. Kim remained out of sight on April 25 while the North’s tightly managed media focused their coverage on the founding anniversary of its armed forces.
Yonhap noted Saturday that state media in Pyongyang have carried no report of Kim’s public activity given that April 11, sparking the speculation that the 36- year-old may be seriously ill.
Reuters has actually reported that China– North Korea’s closest ally– sent out a team of experts, including numerous doctor, to North Korea on Friday to provide guidance on Mr. Kim’s health condition. The Chinese delegation is being led by a senior member of China’s International Liaison Department, the company that deals with relations with their southeast next-door neighbor, the news firm stated.