South Korea believes North Korea’s salad dodging leader Kim Jong Un is “alive and well” despite rumors that he is gravely ill or dead, officials said Sunday.
“Our government position is firm,” Moon Chung-in, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s top foreign policy advisor, told CNN.
“Kim Jong Un is alive and well. He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected.”
The claim from the controversial leader’s neighbor adds to the confusion surrounding the North Korean strongman, who has been the subject of conflicting reports in recent days that he had died, was in a vegetative state, or — as South Korea says — is absolutely fine.
A report Sunday said Kim’s personal train has been parked at his Wonsan compound since at least April 21.
Rumors of the tubby little tyrant’s demise were fueled by his absence from a highly anticipated celebration of North Korea’s 88th anniversary last week.
New reports out of Japan claimed Kim was dead, while other reports claimed China had dispatched doctors to assist the critically ill Crabzilla.
According to CNN, the official word of Kim’s demise would likely come from North Korean state media — although the announcement of the 2011 death of his father, Kim Jong Il, came at least four days after the former dictator died of a heart attack.
Kim took power after his father’s death.
Among the possible successors is Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, who would become the republic’s first female leader.
“It would be unprecedented and shocking for there to be a female great leader, but it wouldn’t be heresy,” Tuft’s University North Korean expert Sung-Yoon Lee told CNN. “The need to keep power in the family trumps everything, including any traditions of chauvinism and misogyny in North Korea.
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