North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is ‘alive and well’, a South Korean official has said.
Foreign policy adviser Chung-in Moon said his government’s position is firmly that the despot is not dead.
The aide said Kim had been living in the Wonsan area of the country since April 13, adding to Fox: ‘No suspicious movements have so far been detected.’
Rumours of his death emerged from the vice director of Hong Kong Satellite Television Shijian Xingzou, who claimed a ‘very solid source’ told her Kim was dead.
She has 15million followers on Chinese social media Weibo, and is also the niece of one of the country’s foreign ministers.
Separately, a Japanese media outlet claimed Kim was in a ‘vegetative state’ after he underwent heart surgery earlier in the month.
The despot has not been seen publicly since April 11 when he led a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party committee of policy makers, North Korean state media said.
But Chung-in Moon’s comments appear to have poured cold water on the astonishing claims that he had passed away.
North Korean defectors agree, saying it is hard to believe the information would be leaked by his trusted aides.
Joo Sung-ha, a North Korean defector turned journalist, said in a Facebook post reported by the New York Times that it was reasonable to believe Kim had health problems, but that he had zero trust in reports why the leader has faced a medical emergency. ‘The health of the Kim family is the secret among secrets,’ he said.
Thae Yong-ho, a former North Korean diplomat who also defected, said it was hard to believe any reliable information about Kim had been leaked by his most trusted aids.
He said while he worked in the country no one was aware of Kim Jong-il’s death until 2011, when they gathered in an auditorium and saw an announcer dressed in black.
North Korea has never said who would succeed Kim if he died, but analysts believe his sister Kim Yo-Jong would likely take over until his children grow up.
The dictator’s 250-metre-long train has been seen near his Wonsan holiday complex on satellite images as recently as April 23, according to news website 38North.
It was parked at a station reserved for the Kim family. The website said although the dictator’s whereabouts remain unknown, the trains position suggests he has visited the resort.
The most recent photos, from April 23, show the train preparing for departure.
Kim’s private jet, frequently used for trips to Wonsan, remains on the runway in Pyongyang, South Korean broadcaster SBS reported.
The Wonsan complex includes nine large guesthouses and recreation centre, as well as a shooting range and covered dock believed to be for a yacht.
At the centre of the grounds is a large building that was constructed shortly after Kim Jong-un came to power in 2014.
Kim Jong Un’s private jet, pictured above in North Korea in 2014, has remained on the tarmac in Pyongyang. It is frequently used for trips to the Wonsan resort, Asian media said.
US Senator Lindsey Graham added to speculation of his death, telling Fox News last night he believes reports on the leader’s health.
He said: ‘Well, it’s a closed society, I don’t know anything directly. But I’d be shocked if he’s not dead or in some incapacitated state because you don’t let rumours like this go forever or go unanswered in a closed society, which is really a cult, not a country, called North Korea.
Source from: https://trib.al/6BdyB8J