North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has fallen into a coma as his sister seizes the reins of power in the communist country, according to a former aide to the South Korean president.
According to the Mirror, Chang Song-min, who served as an aide to former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, told South Korean media of the 36-year-old Kim Jong Un, “I assess him to be in a coma, but his life has not ended.”
Song-min maintained that Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, is assuming the mantle of leadership in her brother’s absence. “A complete succession structure has not been formed, so Kim Yo Jong is being brought to the fore as the vacuum cannot be maintained for a prolonged period,” he said, adding that Kim’s death “could spell disaster for the country.”
The Mirror went on to report that the National Intelligence Service (NIS) claimed Kim Jong Un will continue to “exert absolute power,” despite increasingly ceding his power to his sister “to ease stress.”
Reports of Kim Jong Un’s demise have come before. Rumors swirled last April that he had died after a botched heart operation, leading one North Korean defector to claim that he was “99% sure” the leader was dead.
As The Daily Wire reported:
Speaking with South Korean media outlet Yonhap News Agency, Ji Seong-ho said that he has “been informed” Kim had died without saying where this important information came from.
“I’ve wondered how long he could have endured after cardiovascular surgery. I’ve been informed that Kim died last weekend,” Ji told the outlet. “It is not 100 percent certain, but I can say the possibility is 99%.”
As to why the world remains in the dark about his fate, Ji said he believes that North Korea is “grappling with a complicated succession issue.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News at the time, “Well, it’s a closed society, I don’t know anything directly. But I’d be shocked if he’s not dead or in some incapacitated state because 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.”
“So I pretty well believe he is dead or incapacitated,” Graham continued. “And I hope the long-suffering North Korean people will get some relief if he is dead, and President Trump’s willing to do business with North Korea in a win-win fashion. So, if this guy is dead, I hope the next person who takes over will work with President Trump to make North Korea a better place for everybody.”
Kim Jong Un later made a public appearance, which sparked conspiracy theories alleging that the North Korean government was using a body double to cover up their leader’s death.