- State media in Hong Kong and Japan recently shared two different stories about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un: one claimed he’s dead while the other said he’s in vegetative state after a failed heart angioplasty procedure early in April.
- The Beijing-supported media Hong Kong Satellite Television (HKSTV). however, said that they have a “solid source” that would prove Kim’s death.
- Other unconfirmed reports also said that the angioplasty operation went wrong due to the continuous shaking of the surgeon’s hands.
The Hong Kong Satellite Television (HKSTV) vice director announced that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, 36 years old, has died “with no hope of recuperation” citing a very “solid source”. The director of Beijing-backed HKSTV, who is the niece of China’s current Foreign Minister, posted the news that Kim is dead over a social media app called “Weibo”.
A Japanese magazine, on the other hand, said the Rocket Man is in comatose or “vegetative state” after a botched angioplasty procedure. As of posting and ever since the rumors about Kim’s state of health broke out this week, North Korea has yet to confirm as sources said there was “no movement” so far.
During the first week of April, a Chinese medical expert privy to the incident said that Kim was visiting the countryside when he suddenly clutched his chest and fell down on the ground. A doctor who was with Kim performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and immediately took him to a nearby hospital.
Doctors found that his heart arteries were clogged and a stent procedure was done to open up his blood vessel. However, the surgery went wrong, according to the said medical expert, because the surgeon’s hands were “shaking so badly”, New York Post reported.
Japan’s weekly Shukan Gendai reported on Friday that a group of Chinese medic was deployed to North Korea to treat Kim. However, Reuters reported that the arrival of the team was too late and this left Kim “severely ill”.
In April the governments of South Korea and China suggested that Kim was in “grave danger” after a failed surgery. SoKor also said that it “detected no signs of unusual activity” in North Korea.
Should rumors about his demise be true, his sister Kim Yo-jong will succeed him as leader of North Korea, as his children are too young to take over his position.
His older brother Kim Jong Chol, on the other hand, seems to be uninterested in running a “murderous regime”, and prefers just playing guitar.
Kim also has a half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, whom he ordered to be assassinated in Malaysia in February 2017 for allegedly being part of the CIA.
The TIME said that Kim’s sister might lead North Korea for now until his children are old enough to assume their father’s position.
“Keeping leadership in the family is crucial– North Korea’s political mythology circles around the Kim family specifically,” the TIME said.
The hashtag #KIMJONGUNDEAD has been trending worldwide on Twitter. As soon as the rumors broke out, netizens expressed their reactions and many also posted memes about his death.
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