New Delhi: North Korea never fails to maintain its secrecy, especially when it comes to speculations around its top leadership. Rumours were sharpened regarding the health condition of North Korean Supreme leader Kim Jong-un after a US media report said that he was “in grave danger after a surgery”. Also Read - Kim Jong Un Makes Another Public Appearance, Vows to Bolster Nuclear War Deterrence
However, keeping up with the silence, the North Korean state media made no mention at all on the leader’s health condition or his whereabouts following the cardiovascular procedure. Instead, the media presented the regular business image, reporting on his past achievements and comments. Also Read - Chinese City Bordering North Korea Imposes Martial Law After Spike in COVID-19 Cases
South Korean and Chinese officials, too, cast their doubts on the US report affirming that there were no unusual signs with regard to Kim Jong-un’s health. Also Read - Why North Korea is Suddenly Outreaching? After China, Kim Jong Un Now Sends Message to Russia
Speculations increased about what happened to Kim since he apparently skipped an annual visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on the occasion of the 108th birthday of his late grandfather and state founder Kim Il-sung on April 15.
Here’s what we know so far:
> For months, Kim has reportedly had health problems apparently linked to obesity, heavy smoking and workload.
> In September 2014, he disappeared from the public eye and returned 40 days later limping after having undergone a surgery to remove a cyst from his ankle.
> Though nothing is clear as of now, all eyes are on Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un’s sister, who will take over the leadership if Kim succumbs to his illness.
> Kim Jong-un’s sister and youngest of seven siblings, Kim Yo-jong was born in 1987, and first came into the limelight during the funeral for her father Kim Jong Il in 2011.
> 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.