Seoul: Amid conflicting reports about Kim Jong Un’s ‘gravely ill’ condition, Japanese media has claimed that the North Korean leader is in ‘vegetative state’ as as his health appears could be more serious than initially believed. Earlier this week, it was reported that the North Korean leader was in critical condition following heart surgery. Also Read - As Rumours Intensify Over Kim Jong Un's Health, China Sends Experts To North Korea
The reports came after Kim apparently skipped an important annual visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on the occasion of the April 15 birthday of late state founder and his grandfather, Kim Il-sung. However, the reports about Kim’s health are disputed as North Korea has not made any official statement regarding it. Also Read - Amid Rumours of Kim Jong-un's 'Fragile' Condition, Pentagon Says Supreme Leader in 'Full Control' of North Korean Military
Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai reported that Kim collapsed during a visit to a rural area in April, following which the North Korean leader required a stent procedure. The magazine also elaborated how the surgeon in-charge of Kim’s operation was not used to dealing with obese patients and was too nervous during the operation, leading to delays that left Kim in a “vegetative state.”
On the other hand, a train possibly belonging to Kim has been spotted at a station in the state’s eastern coastal town of Wonsan, reported ’38 North’, the North Korea observation center at the Washington-based Henry L. Stimson Centre, citing commercial satellite imagery on the region.
According to 38 North– a website devoted to analysis about North Korea, the imagery showed a train “probably belonging to Kim Jong Un parked at the Leadership Railway Station servicing his Wonsan compound since at least April 21.”
“The approximately 250-metre long train, although partially covered by the station’s roof, can be seen at a railway station reserved for use by the Kim family. It was not present on April 15 but was present on both April 21 and 23. The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health, but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast,” it said.
(With agency inputs)