Mystery shrouds over North korean dictator Kim Jong-un's no show

New Delhi Published: Apr 27, 2020, 09:14 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Some say it's a heart surgery gone wrong while others say it's the coronavirus.

There's intense speculation over the health of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over the past few days. 

He has not been seen in public since April 11. He also missed the celebrations of his grandfather's birth anniversary. There are rumours that Kim is dead or in a vegetative state.

Some say it's a heart surgery gone wrong while others say it's the coronavirus. Several others believe that the North Korean leader is alive and healthy but nobody is saying where he is. China says it has no information

Meanwhile, South Korea has rubbished reports of Kim's death.

US Senator Lindsey Graham said he would be shocked if Kim is not dead or incapacitated.

Meanwhile, North Korea state TV relayed a message from Kim Jong-un  which said: "Respected supreme leader Kim Jong-un has sent his thanks to the workers and officials at the construction site of the Wonsan-Kalma tourist resort."

Kim did not show up for his grandfather's birth anniversary, the biggest event in the North Korean calendar but he took time out to thank construction workers?

The coverup is poor. Adding to the speculation are two reports featuring Kim's train spotted at the North Korean resort town of Wonsan. And the second is about a Chinese medical team visiting North Korea. If all is well with Kim, then what are the Chinese doctors doing in North Korea?

The mystery around Kim is not surprising. North Korea is among one of the world's most secretive societies. There are no confirmed reports on Kim's age or how many children he has. The cult of personality is a carefully crafted one, pushed by the constant good press.

Every image, every visual, every news story involving Kim is infused with messaging and glazed with propaganda. The man defines mystery and unpredictability. No one knows where he is right now or in what state. 

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