U.S. officials are reportedly not sure if North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is “dead or alive” following a flurry of reports late on Monday that cast serious doubt on Kim’s health following a reported surgery that he underwent.
“The Trump administration wasn’t sure whether Kim was dead or alive, said the official, who asked not to be identified,” Bloomberg News reported.
The report’s author, Jennifer Jacobs, added on Twitter, “Trump admin received information that Kim Jong Un had heart surgery last week and if he’s alive, his health is poor, I’m told. KJU hasn’t been seen at key events in recent days. It’s unclear to US officials if he’s dead or alive.”
Jacobs added, “Trump administration officials are looking into who would be in the line of succession if Kim Jong Un dies or is already dead, I’m told.”
Trump administration officials are looking into who would be in the line of succession if Kim Jong Un dies or is already dead, I'm told.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) April 21, 2020
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that South Korea’s Yonhap news agency claimed that Kim was not seriously ill, contradicting CNN’s initial reporting.
CNN had initially reported:
The US is monitoring intelligence that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is in grave danger after a surgery, according to a US official with direct knowledge.
Kim received the cardiovascular system procedure because of “excessive smoking, obesity, and overwork,” according to [Daily NK], and is now receiving treatment in a villa in Hyangsan County following his procedure.
In a separate report, Bloomberg News reported on the Daily NK:
The Daily NK, a Seoul-based website that gathers information from informants inside the isolated nation, reported Tuesday that Kim underwent a “cardiovascular surgical procedure” and was now mostly recovered. It was impossible to immediately verify the report, which the Daily NK said was based on one person inside North Korea.
The Daily NK is part of a group of non-for-profit agencies affiliated with the South Korean Unification Ministry, and has occasionally been contacted by Seoul officials for information. The outlet’s backers include the U.S.’s National Endowment for Democracy, which awarded it $400,000 last year to “raise awareness and understanding of the conditions in North Korea by disseminating accurate, timely and relevant news and information about the country.”
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), whose lying and cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak led to a global pandemic, reportedly claims that Kim is not critically ill.
“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is not believed to be critically ill, an official with the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department told Reuters on Tuesday, following media reports about the state of Kim’s health,” Reuters reported. “The official declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter. The International Liaison Department is the main Chinese body dealing with neighbouring North Korea.”
Again, any information coming out of China should be taken worth a grain of salt due to the fact that they are not trustworthy and have a well documented history of lying.
Reuters: The official declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter. The International Liaison Department is the main Chinese body dealing with neighbouring North Korea.
— Vincent Lee (@Rover829) April 21, 2020
On a separate note, North Korea has claimed that it has had no coronavirus cases in its country, despite being neighbors with China and having an extremely poor health care system.
“Experts say North Korea’s reluctance to admit major outbreaks of disease, its wrecked medical infrastructure and its extreme sensitivity to any potential threat to Kim Jong Un’s authoritarian rule means that Pyongyang is likely handling the current coronavirus pandemic in the same manner,” TIME reported. “This has led to widespread skepticism over the nation’s claim to have zero infections.”
Choi Jung Hun, an alleged doctor, told TIME: “It’s a lie. Year after year, and in every season, diverse infectious diseases repeatedly occur but North Korea says there isn’t any outbreak.”
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