Is Kim Jong Un Dead? Here’s What We Know
Rumors of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s death have swept across the world, but is he really dead?
The story of Kim’s demise – or lack thereof – changes depending on the source. The first outlet to claim to have confirmed his death outright was based in Hong Kong and credited the news to a “very solid source,” according to the New York Post.
Other reports claim Kim died following a botched surgery, or is in a vegetative state, but the one consistent message amid the swirl of rumors has been from the South Korean government. They insist the dictator to their north is doing just fine.
HKSTV Hong Kong Satellite Television says North Korea leader kim jong un is dead. No US confirm at this point.
— Adam Housley (@adamhousley) April 25, 2020
“Our government position is firm,” an adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in 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.”
China has dispatched a team to North Korea including medical experts to advise on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with the situation. https://t.co/zrHVcg4lpl
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) April 25, 2020
Wonsan is a port and naval base on North Korea’s eastern coast and home to a billionaire’s playground resort reserved exclusively for the Kim family. The resort features a $7 million yacht, a horseback-riding track and a private highway to the capital city of Pyongyang usable only by Kim’s inner circle, according to the Daily Beast.
Satellite images of the resort reportedly back up the claims from the South Korean government, with the compound’s yacht out and about in coastal waters, the Daily Beast reported. (RELATED: South Korea Says No Suspicious Activity Is Coming From North Korea As Reports Claim Kim Jong Un ‘In Grave Danger’ After Surgery)
President Donald Trump has also been hesitant to comment on the rumors of Kim’s death. Asked about the dictator’s health last week, Trump wished him well but said he didn’t “want to comment on it,” adding that he had “a very good idea” of Kim’s condition, according to ABC news.
Speculation around whether or not Kim’s heart is still beating arose after he was absent from a national celebration commemorating his late grandfather and founder of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, on April 15. The event is one of the country’s biggest holidays, and Kim has not been absent before.