North Korea’s state media reported that Kim Jong Un made a public appearance, Fox News reports, and included one small, blurry photo as proof.
The US, South Korea, and Japan are reportedly working to verify the authenticity of the photo. The photo is below.
The country’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, had not been seen in 20 days and speculations swirled about his possible death. Kim was last seen April 11 during a meeting of the country’s ruling Workers Party.
Photos from the ceremony weren’t immediately released. A photo was eventually released, but its credibility is unknown. The image has been criticized as blurry and possibly not credible.
Here’s the photo from CNN correspondent Will Ripley:
#breaking North Korean state media publishes first photo of Kim Jong Un in three weeks — claiming it was taken on Friday at the ribbon cutting of the Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer Factory. In the photo, his sister Kim Yo Jong. US/S. Korea/Japan working to verify authenticity. pic.twitter.com/efl1hAfLqj
— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) May 1, 2020
South Korea-based Yonhap News Agency, citing state-run media, reported that Kim attended a ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer plant in Sunchon, in the South Phyongan Province Saturday.
Do You Like This Artice? Give Us Feedback 👇
Fox News reports:
Rumors of his possible death or illness began circulating after he missed a ceremony to commemorate the 108th birthday– known as the “Day of the Sun” — of his grandfather and North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung.
— Advertisement —
However, South Korea’s government had downplayed rumors and unconfirmed reports that Kim was in poor health following a medical procedure, saying it had detected no unusual activity in the North.
The Daily NK, a Seoul-based publication that bases most of its reports on testimony from North Korean defectors and other sources inside the country, reported the secretive leader was recovering from surgery at a coastal luxury resort.
When asked about the report of Kim’s sighting Friday, President Trump told reporters at the White House, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Trump hinted earlier this week that he knew the status of Kim’s health.
The Sun reported Friday that Kim may be holed up in the port city of Wonsan, possibly with around 2,000 sex slaves comprised of a group of young women known as the “pleasure squad” tasked with entertaining the nation’s elite and performing sexual acts.
Some of the girls are reported to be as young as 13 and were forced to leave school to become sex workers.
Defectors said the girls go through rigorous examinations to prove they’re virgins. The report said Kim, who is married, preferred virgins because he believed he would absorb the girls’ “ki,” or life-force, if he had sex with them.
North Korean state media has published a letter allegedly written by Kim Jong Un, in efforts to prove he is still alive.
According to the New York Post, North Korea media is sharing a letter Kim Jon Un wrote to congratulate South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Freedom Day.
The Korea Central News Agency reported that the letter was dated April 27, 2020, according to CNN, although they offered that they had “no way of independently corroborating its authenticity.”
In the letter to Ramaphosa, Kim referenced the public holiday and expressed his certainty that the two nations’ friendship would grow.
Reports have surfaced with allegations of Kim Jong Un being in a vegetative state, some even say he’s already dead. However, as South Korea says, he is absolutely fine.
South Korea-based Daily NK said Kim reportedly underwent a cardiovascular procedure because of “excessive smoking, obesity, and overwork.”
South Korean presidential adviser Moon Chung-in told CNN that Kim was “alive and well” and had been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13.
“No suspicious movements have so far been detected,” Moon added.
More from New York Post:
The US monitoring website 38 North has reported that satellite imagery showed what appeared to be Kim’s personal train parked at a station in “his Wonsan compound since at least April 21.”
Questions about his health flared after he missed an April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of his grandfather, the Hermit Kingdom’s founder, Kim Il Sung.
Other unverified rumors are that the rogue regime’s reclusive leader may have been injured during a recent missile test and that he went into hiding after one of his bodyguards was suspected to have contracted COVID-19.
The news outlet said Kim was undergoing treatment in a villa in Hyangsan County, north of Pyongyang, CNN reported.
A Japanese magazine is reporting that North Korea’s rocket man is in a “vegetative state” after he underwent heart surgery earlier this month.
A vice director of HKSTV Hong Kong Satellite Television, a Beijing-backed broadcast network in Hong Kong, claimed that Kim was dead, citing a “very solid source.” Her post on the Chinese messaging app Weibo has been shared widely on social media, according to a report in the International Business Times.
Other unconfirmed reports, attributed to senior party sources in Beijing, said an operation to insert a stent went wrong because the surgeon’s hands were shaking so badly.
Kim Jong Un’s younger sister could be the next in line to lead the family dynasty, according to The Daily Beast. She is considered the most powerful woman in North Korea, according to a 2019 National Interest investigation.
Kim Yo Jong made an appearance during the 2018 winter Olympics and the response from the world seemed to be great.
The younger sister of the North Korean Supreme Leader has advised on key events in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. She has encouraged construction of modern apartments, ski slopes, and even an amusement park.
She is also responsible for setting up the historic meeting between her brother and South’s President Moon Jae-in.
While at a luncheon meeting in South Korea, she “gracefully handed the South’s President Moon Jae-in a handwritten note from her brother suggesting they get together for a summit,” The Daily Beast reported.
A spokesperson for Blue House recalled the encounter, noting that Kim Yo Jong politely written the letter herself.
Her big brother hoped they could get together sooner rather than later, at the “earliest convenience,” she said.
“Let’s create the environment for that to happen,” was Moon’s response.
Moon had been looking for reconciliation with the North.
From the NY Post:
The Kim family has ruled the secretive Communist country for the past seven decades — with Kim taking over from his father, Kim Jong Il, after his death in 2011.
Power has traditionally passed through male heirs, but the 36-year-old despot has no male adult children — leaving Kim’s brother and sister as the most obvious choices to replace him as ruler, according to various reports.
His sister Kim Yo Jong is a senior member of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea and is considered the most powerful woman in North Korea, according to a 2019 National Interest investigation.
She has served as chief of staff and confidant of sorts to her older brother and has been protective of his image in her role as a director of the country’s propaganda department, according to the report.
But North Korean politics is patriarchal and it’s unlikely a woman will be made leader, however powerful she is. Kim’s wife, a former cheerleader and singer, also exercises no political power, the report said.