There is growing speculation regarding the health of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, with multiple sources claiming that the secretive country’s ruler has passed away this weekend.
Concern over Kim’s health was first raised earlier this month, following his absence on the Day of the Sun on April 15th. The largest holiday on the country’s calendar, his absence followed reports he had undergone cardiovascular surgery in the days prior.
However, rumours of his passing began to increase over the past week, with some sources claiming he was in “grave danger” following the surgery, and others claiming the leader was in fact brain dead.
In fact, the confusion regarding his state – and the lack of information coming from North Korea – has given rise to intense speculation, with the New York Post even going so far as to share an article titled “North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un rumored to be dead, brain dead or just fine.”
Kim’s medical history has long been a source of speculation for many, with the years since he took charge of the country seeing reports of diabetes, hypertension, and increased weight gain.
Notably though, the Kim family has a history of heart problems, with Kim Jong-il passing away in December of 2011 following a massive heart attack.
Though accurate reports regarding the health of Kim Jong-un are hard to come by at the current time, China has reportedly sent a team of doctors to North Korea in order to check on the country’s leader to gain a greater understanding of the current situation.
However, South Korean sources have reportedly claimed that rumours of the leader’s death have been greatly exaggerated, with Kim apparently being spotted at a beachside resort.
Despite the intense scrutiny regarding his health, discussion has also turned to the topic of who would succeed Kim in the event that reports of his passing have been accurate, with some naming his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, as the most likely candidate to fill his position.