CLASH POLL: Rumors Say North Korea’s Little Rocketman Is Dead… Do You Buy It?

Written by Wes Walker on April 25, 2020

Depending on which reports you believe, the grand pooh-bah of the hermit kingdom is either dead, brain dead, on death’s door, or quietly recovering from surgery.

That’s right, Trump may have outlasted Little Rocketman, who may have launched his last ballistic test. (Or not.)

Who really knows for sure at this point?

Here is what we know so far.

— It was reported by the Daily NK, a South Korean news outlet that reports on events in the North, that Kim underwent a cardiovascular procedure on April 12 at the Hyangsan Hospital. —IBTimes

— China is sending a team of medical experts to look into Kim Jong Un’s condition. — Multiple sources

— Kim Jong Un has been absent from at least one important national event celebrating their military and may have been MIA since about April 11.

The speculation

He’s fine, really…

Official sources here in the US (including Trump and Pompeo) are not getting ahead of this story, downplaying reports but acknowledging they are watching developments keenly as they unfold. Trump even quipped that he’d have to hear a source more reliable than CNN’s claim that Little Kim’s life was in ‘grave danger’ after the procedure.

Sources in South Korea have been reporting that he is recovering and there is no evidence that he is unwell. This seems to fall short of an absolute affirmation that he is on the mend, sounding more like they may be exercising the caution of responsible journalists not wanting to go beyond the known facts. (This may seem a strange notion compared to media conduct on this side of the world. Drawing a line between what you do and do not know used to be called ‘journalistic integrity’.)

Brain Dead…

We’ll leave our readers to supply the obvious punchlines to that heading on your own. More seriously, there are reports that Litle Kim really has declined to the point of being in a vegetative state.

A report has emerged that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un fell into a vegetative state after receiving heart surgery.

The report, which was from the Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai, further compounds the mystery of where the nation’s leader has been since April 11. A member of the Chinese team of experts dispatched to North Korea allegedly told the magazine about Kim’s condition.

As if the geopolitics in that part of the world weren’t unstable enough already.

Deceased

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. — NYPost

Of course, it didn’t take long for Social media to start riffing off the idea.

In short…