North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un Is Rumored to Be Dead, South Korean Officials Say Rumors Are False
South Korea says rumors that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is sick or dead are untrue.
According to Fox News, a top South Korean official said there is “enough intelligence to confidently say that there are no unusual developments” in North Korea.
Kim, 36, also reportedly released a note of thanks on Monday to workers building a tourism area in North Korea.
The news bulletin came without images or video or mention of the rumors.
Rumors about Kim’s health started when he did not appear at the April 15 commemoration of the 108 birthday of his grandfather and North Korean founder, Kim II Sun, the Associated Press reports.
Kim had not missed the commemoration since he assumed the top position in the country in 2011.
The South Korean government has said they believe Kim is staying outside the capital.
"Our government position is firm," Chung-in Moon, foreign policy adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, told Fox News. "Kim Jong Un is alive and well. He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected."
Meanwhile, satellite imagery provided by 38 North showed that a train likely belonging to Kim has been parked at his compound since last week.
“The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health, but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast,” according to a 38 North, a website dedicated to North Korea studies.
Some are worried that if Kim is gravely sick or dead, the country could become increasingly unstable, but experts in South Korea believe Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, would step in quickly to continue the country’s leadership.
This is not the first time Kim has disappeared from the public eye. In 2014, Kim stayed out of the spotlight for some six weeks. When he was photographed later, he appeared with a cane and reports said he had a cyst removed from his ankle.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.