Signs From North Korea Only Raise More Questions About Absent Kim Jong Un
Enormous speculation as to the well-being otherwise if the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He's not been seen in public for over a fortnight missing key public events. Initially reports carried by daily N Que a media outlet run largely by North Korean. Defectors said that he might be dead or critically. Ill later reporting that. He'd undergone treatment for cardiovascular complications other stories circulating in the media said a heart operation had been botched by nervous surgeon with shaking hands. Now we know Kim is morbidly obese. He's reportedly a heavy smoker and drinker may be diabetic and suffers from hypertension. Both his father and his grandfather died from cardio related ailments. North Korea has been utterly silent on the subject but if he is dead will destabilize the state and who would take over John? Everard is the former British government. Signed Busta to Pyongyang. He's on the line. John Lovely to speak to you again. Is He alive or dead? I'm pretty sure he's alive. Not least because two days ago he sent a congratulatory message to President Ramaphosa of South Africa. Now I suppose it's possible that these messages are being sent out on his behalf but even though he's passed away but I don't think so that's simply not the way the North Koreans do things. But he certainly not around. The last confirmed sighting of Kim. Jong UN was on eleven April at which point he looked. Fine I mean he was hosting a his chairing a politburo meeting and he didn't look any worse than he normally does. But then the big shock. He failed to appear on Fifteenth April. The birthday of his grandfather and founding Kimmel soon every year. There's a big ceremony where the royal family all troop off to Kimmel. Psalms mausoleum to pay their respects not to do so is simply unthinkable surprised foreign observers and north. Korean draws must have dropped I mean the last time he disappeared for review for a substantial time if he had six weeks later walking with a cane apparently due to surgery on his ankle. Do you think we should assume that? This is health related He's not just having a luxury lockdown somewhere. I don't think we kind of humorous health related as you sit in your introduction there have been reports that He underwent heart surgery. That didn't go well. But the sourcing of those reports is really very wobbly. Indeed and it's quite possible that there simply wrong all do. Nathanson is that he hasn't been seen he failed to appear. added grandfather's birthday. But he's still messages. Is He. Sick it is. It's possible but if if so why then didn't he send a flower basket to his grandfather was in? Which is what you always do in North Korea in these circumstances also if he is sick what has happened to his younger sister. Kim Yo John. She didn't show up either. In fact she to US disappeared. So what a body victim has taken them both out. I think it's possible that the problem is not medical but political. Iggy means some kind of fracture within the regime. Yes that somebody has decided that it's time for a not exactly a soft coup but four. Kim's on to be removed from the immediate levers of power so he keeps his titles in the official reports of the messages that he has been sending out to vice presidents he's given orders full titles we continues to rain but we don't know whether he continues to rule and of course the South Koreans are saying they think he's in one sandwiches a port and seaside resort on the east of North Korea. What's he doing there? Wouldn't make sense if it's a medical problem because spills somewhere it would make sense if he's been arrested or is just in lockdown like the rest of the world why though e- during the worst of the pandemic he continued his normal activities and was photographed chiefly hugging people. Not a social distancing there now The pandemic and China is receding North Korea is claiming no cases. Why would you want to go into self-isolation matter? It doesn't make sense so John I mean I was going to ask you about who the possible people to take over from him. Off is being the obvious contender but this is. This is astonishing news that perhaps a soft coup has happened. What would that mean for the country? We don't know a lot of because if it has happened and we're we're we're we're we don't know this we're all guessing we don't know who has let it. It might be hard line as what it might be liberals They're all factions of in both directions at the royal court and of course a North Korean aunt saying anything at all I could easily produce a a list of possible. North Korean candidates who might be leading government for you but frankly it wouldn't be worth much so I mean we had. Obviously we thought that this the ruling would stay within the family. It is after all the world's only communist monarchy rarely could go to someone outside the family and if that is the case one name that seems to being bandied about is Tahoe's a North Korean defector. He's part of the the government in South Korea. He does seem to be readying himself for the challenge. I think if they were a unification of the two careers. Tim Ho Foolish not though. He's a buddy of mine so I'm biased. But he would probably play a significant role in this. I'm not sure that he would be offered or would see a leadership role.