New Delhi: Dismissing media speculations and rumours on the North Korean leader, a top security advisor to South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday told reporters from the United States that Kim Jong-un “is alive and well.” Also Read - 'Legitimate Step': North Korea Backs China's National Security Law for Hong Kong
Speaking to the CNN about speculations over the North Korean Supreme’s health after he missed a key anniversary, South president’s advisor Moon Chung-in said that their government was “firm” that Kim was well and has been staying at the country’s resort town Wonson during the period of his recovery. Also Read - US Charges North Koreans With Laundering at Least $2.5 Billion to Fund Nuclear Weapons Program
“He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected,” he said. Also Read - Kim Jong Un Makes Another Public Appearance, Vows to Bolster Nuclear War Deterrence
Notably, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has not made any public appearances since a meeting on April 11, not even for the celebrations for his grandfather Kim Il Sung, founder of the North, which is one the most important days in the country’s political calendar.
This unleashed an array of speculations across social media platforms and at media houses, some even questioning if he was still alive or dead or in a “vegetative state”.
A set of reports claimed that the 36-year-old dictator had passed away after the heart trouble or was in an irreversible coma, but noted that “due to the hyper-secretive nature of the pariah state the exact picture remains unclear tonight” and it was very difficult to verify the claims before an official state announcement.
Besides, a train was spotted at Kim’s private railway station near his holiday home in the resort, and a report of 38 North, affiliated to the Stimson Center, stated, “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 must be noted that if Kim succumbs to his illness, the leadership will be handed over to his sister Kim Yo-jong. Youngest of seven siblings, Kim Yo-jong has already been slowly rising in ranks beside him and exercising significant influence within the government. She is now considered the most powerful woman in North Korea.