FACTS

    There has been widespread speculation about the state of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health. These rumors were sparked after he failed to attend the nation’s most important holiday, an event that he has never before missed. In addition, an article circulated this week from the Daily NK, an online South Korean newspaper relying on North Korean defectors for information. His last public sighting was April 12th, and the article relayed that he is in poor health after an alleged cardiovascular surgery he was said to undergo that same day.

    Rumors abound surrounding the events. A North Korean lawmaker in the conservative party confirmed that Kim had failing health and underwent surgery, but said he is unable to confirm the identity of his sources in order to protect their safety. The South Korean government has said they have detected no unusual activity, with Chinese and Russian officials echoing this and questioning the reliability of sources. CNN claimed US officials with “direct knowledge” have intelligence suggesting Kim’s health is possibly failing. Other US officials, however, have said concrete evidence is lacking, and that we will continue to monitor the situation and any information they receive. 

    Trump’s national security adviser says it is premature to seriously speculate about the effects Kim’s death would have, but there are already many theories as to what could happen in this event. In the past, changes of power have resulted in bloody massacres of top officials and generals, as the new leader aims to prove their power and authority. The Military Times was told by South Korean special operation’s chief that he guarantees “chaos, human suffering, instability” will take place when it occurs again. 

    North Korean expert Lee Sung-Yoon says Kim’s sister Kim Yo-jong “is the natural heir to the throne,” noting she has risen to a position of power as her brother’s chief of staff, spokesperson, and national security adviser. Due to North Korea’s patriarchal system, another North Korean expert and analyst contradicts this, suspecting Kim’s current second-in-power man
    In the past North Korean leaders have disappeared from the public eye for extended periods of time, but it has often meant problems. Kim’s predecessor Kim Jong-il was out of sight for months, it eventually being confirmed that his disappearance was because of a stroke.  Due to the utter secrecy of the North Korean government,  the US and other governments have often been in the dark as to important North Korean matters until days or even weeks after the events have taken place.

    Right

    The Right has consistently praised President Trump over his negotiations with North Korea and stance on denuclearization as well as creating normalcy in the international relationship, even if the Dictator was not in total compliance, and will look to the President for leadership in regards to a possible Transition.

    Left

    The left is looking at Kim Jong’s sister as a possible candidate while showing ties between the potential-future dictator and President Trump.

    Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, who would be first in line to take control. She has become her brother’s closest confidant and her position within the ruling Workers’ Party has become more important in recent months. Last month, she made her first public statement, condemning the South as a “frightened dog barking” before publicly praising President Donald Trump for sending Kim a letter pledging support in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

    VICE NEWS

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