North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un dead?

Multiple sources claim North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un is dead.

The world is now awaiting confirmation of Jong-un's situation after he underwent a heart surgery earlier this month.

North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un
North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Photo Credit: New York Post

Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai reported on Friday that he was in a “vegetative state" and cannot recuperate.

UPDATE: South Korea says Kim Jong-un is 'alive and well'

Meanwhile, vice director of Hong Kong Satellite Television Shijian Xingzou claimed that the 36-year-old dictator has already died, citing a “very solid source,” according to press reports.

Because of the nature of the ultra secret regime in North Korea, claims of Kim Jong-un's death are very difficult to verify before an official state announcement.

The hashtag #KimJongUndead trended on Twitter but without any proof of the leader’s whereabouts.

The speculations on Kim Jong-un's health began when he skipped an annual event at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on April 15 to commemorate the birthday of his late grandfather, national founder Kim Il-sung. North Korea’s state media last reported on Kim’s whereabouts when he presided over a meeting on April 11.

It was also fanned by his heavy smoking, apparent weight gain since taking power and family history of cardiovascular problems.

United States President Donald Trump on Thursday downplayed reports that Kim was gravely ill. "I think the report was incorrect," he said. Trump has met Kim three times in an attempt to persuade him to give up a nuclear weapons program that threatens America as well as its Asian neighbors.

Kim, born on 8 January 1983, is a third-generation hereditary leader of North Korea who came to power after his father Kim Jong Il died in 2011 from a heart attack.

Kim rules a dictatorship where elections are not free and fair, government critics are persecuted, media is controlled by the regime, internet access is limited by the regime, and there is no freedom of religion.

Focus shifts to powerful sister Kim Yo Jong

With the speculations on Kim Jong Un’s health, the focus has shifted to his sister and closest confidant, Kim Yo Jong, as his most likely successor.

Kim Yo Jong
Kim Yo Jong. Photo Credit: New York Post

Yo Jong may lack the bizarre of the three generations of male rulers in her family, but she shares her brother’s secrecy and penchant for lashing out against political adversaries.

Yo Jong, believed to be on her early 30s, was also blacklisted by the US Treasury Department in 2017 for “severe human rights abuses.”

"Among the North’s power elite, Kim Yo Jong has the highest chance to inherit power, and I think that possibility is more than 90%,” an analyst told the Associated Press.

— The Summit Express

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