May 19, 2024
South Korea: Kim Jong Un isn’t dead, he’s just trying to avoid coronavirus
If Kim Jong Un is hiding out due to fears surrounding COVID-19, it would “puncture a hole in the state media narrative of how this crisis has been perfectly managed”, said Chad O’Carroll, CEO of Korea Risk Group, which monitors North Korea.
If Kim Jong Un is hiding out due to fears surrounding COVID-19, it would “puncture a hole in the state media narrative of how this crisis has been perfectly managed”, said Chad O’Carroll, CEO of Korea Risk Group, which monitors North Korea.

SEOUL — Kim Jong Un may have missed a key holiday on April 15 because of concerns over the coronavirus, not because he is ill, South Korea’s minister for North Korean affairs said on Tuesday.

North Korean leader Kim’s absence from public ceremonies on the birth anniversary of his grandfather and founder of the country, Kim Il Sung, was unprecedented, and he has not been seen in public since. That has led to days of speculation over his health.

South Korean officials emphasize they have detected no unusual movements in North Korea and have cautioned against reports that Kim may be ill.

North Korea has said it has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but given the fact that the country has taken stringent steps to head off an outbreak, Kim’s absence from the ceremonies is not particularly unusual, Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul, who oversees North Korea engagement, told lawmakers.

“It is true that he had never missed the anniversary for Kim Il Sung’s birthday since he took power, but many anniversary events including celebrations and a banquet had been canceled because of coronavirus concerns,” Kim Yeon-chul said at a parliamentary hearing.

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See Also:

(1) Amid health worries, Kim Jong Un’s role looms large

(2) Dead or Alive, Kim Jung Un’s Weapons Program Must Be Taken Seriously

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