North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un’s absence from the public ceremony of his grandfather and founder of the nation, Kim Il Sung’s birth anniversary was unprecedented and he has not been seen in public since. That has prompted many speculations over his wellbeing.
South Korean officials said that no unusual movements have been seen in North Korea and have cautioned against the speculations and reports that North Korean leader may be sick. South Korean minister for affairs of North Korea said that Kim may have missed the important holiday and ceremony on April 15 due to concerns over COVID-19, not because of his illness.
North Korea said there are no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus but the country has implemented the strict measures to fight off the outbreak. Unification Minister how oversees the affairs of North Korea, Kim Yeon-chul said that absence of Kim from the public ceremonies is not unusual.
At a parliamentary meeting, he said this is true that North Korean leader never missed the birth anniversary of his grandfather since he was in the power but several anniversary ceremonies including a banquet and celebrations had been cancelled because of the novel coronavirus concerns. He said that since mid-January, there were two instances where Kim Jong Un was absent for almost 20 days. He added that in his opinion this is particularly unusual during the current situation.
United States President Donald Trump said that he knows that North Korean leader Kim is doing and he is fine but he would not elaborate. Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe said that he knows about the reports on Kim’s wellbeing and paying attention to the advancements. The country had cancelled some important events and restricted its border and imposed quarantine measures and lockdown in an effort to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak.
CEO of Korea Risk Group, Chad O’ Carroll said that if Kim is hiding out due to novel coronavirus fears, it would puncture the hole in the narrative of the state, about the management of the novel coronavirus crisis. He added that if Kim is merely hiding to avoid the viral infection, it could be very easy theoretically to release videos or photos of Kim.
A legitimate source acquainted with U.S intelligence said that it was totally conceivable Kim had vanished from the public sight to avoid the exposure to the novel coronavirus and his presidential train in the seaside resort region of Wonsan suggested that he might be there or have been there lately. Yet, the source said that since there was no definitive sponsorship for such conclusion, U.S. organizations were likewise considering that Kim may be sick, even seriously.
The Washington-based North Korean monitoring project, 38 North said that satellite pictures from a week ago indicated an exceptional train that was most likely Kim’s at Wonsan, loaning weight to the reports that Kim had been spending time in the resort region.
While the state media of North Korea have not investigated Kim Jong Un’s whereabouts since he managed a gathering on April 11, they have carried everyday reports of him sending letters and political messages recommends he is as yet doing his obligations as a pioneer. Unification Minister Kim said this suggests that he is performing his duties although some experts saying that they are not certainly conclusive.
The former North Korean intelligence analyst for the U.S government, Rachel Minyoung said that she agrees with the assessment of South Korean government that there is no point for thinking that Kim is not carrying out his duties and she would not read much into the letters signed by the North Korean leader. She would guess that most of the letters are not even written by Kim anyway.