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North Korea Releases New Kim Jong-Un Photos After Coma Reports

by : Julia Banim on : 26 Aug 2020 17:44
North Korea Releases New Kim Jong-Un Photos After Coma ReportsPA

North Korea’s state news agency has released new photographs of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, following widespread rumours that he had been in a coma for some time.

Former South Korean diplomat Chang Song-min recently alleged that Kim had slipped into a coma, citing an unnamed source in China. With the Hermit Kingdom being notoriously secretive, this claim was spread far and wide, with many supposing the dictator to be in poor health.

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However, these newly released photographs appear to show Kim in good health, sitting up in a chair while attending an enlarged meeting of the Politburo of the ruling Workers’ Party in the capital city of Pyongyang. If the word of the secretative country’s state news agency can be beleived.

Kim Jong UnPA

As per AP, North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim spoke about unspecified ‘defects’ and ‘shortcomings’ in the nation’s anti-virus campaign while chairing the meeting, urging that these be corrected quickly.

However AP also noted that independent journalists were not given access to the meeting and that the content of the images could not be independently verified.

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Kim also reportedly called for preparations to be implemented to minimise damage from Typhoon Bavi, weeks after flooding from heavy rainfall caused severe damage to homes and crops.

This in turn resulted in further struggles for an economy which has already been weakened by US-led sanctions over nuclear weapons and border closures.

At this meeting, Kim reportedly set tasks for his party as well as for public services at each level, ‘saying that to thoroughly prevent the casualties by the typhoon and minimize the damage to crops is important work which can never be neglected even a moment’.

Kim Jong UnPA
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Allegations about Kim’s health have been circulating for a while, with Chang Song-min telling South Korean news outlets:

I assess him to be in a coma, but his life has not ended. A complete succession structure has not been formed, so Kim Yo-jong is being brought to the fore as the vacuum cannot be maintained for a prolonged period.

These claims came amid reports that Kim had delegated some responsibilities to his younger sister Kim Yo-jong, as well as to some of his closest aides. This led to further speculation that Kim was stepping aside due to health issues, with the leader having not been seen in public for some time.

However, MP Ha Tae-keung, a member of South Korea’s national assembly’s intelligence committee, said that Kim was actually giving his sister extra power as a way to ‘ease his stress’ and to ‘avert culpability in the event of policy failure’.

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As per The Korea Herald, he also emphasised that there was no indication the decision had been made because of Kim’s alleged poor health, or because his sister had been chosen as his successor.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Coma, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, Now

Credits

AP and 1 other