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No confirmation needed? CNN fans rumors about Kim Jong-un’s alleged health issues, reports he’s in ‘grave danger’ after ‘surgery’

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is extremely unwell after undergoing surgery, CNN reported, citing a nameless US government source. Rumors of Kim’s alleged health scare have been dismissed by both Seoul and Beijing, however.

“The US is monitoring intelligence that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is in grave danger after a surgery, according to a US official with direct knowledge,” CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto reported on Monday evening.

The scoop came as Daily NK, a Seoul-based outlet, reported that Kim underwent a “cardiovascular surgical procedure” on April 12 and is believed to be recuperating at a resort on the country’s east coast.

While the reports have spread like wildfire online, neither has been supported by evidence, with both relying heavily on anonymous sources. The Daily NK said its report is based on a single source inside the reclusive state.

The report has been picked up by an array of western media outlets, including Bloomberg, The Washington Times and others. While some jumped to far-flung conclusions about Kim’s condition, going as far as to suggest that the North Korean leader might be on his death bed, others urged caution, noting that “sketchy unverified reports” cannot be taken at face value.

Chad O’Carroll, founder of Korea Risk Group and a prominent figure among North Korea watchers, reported that there have been several conflicting theories about what could be going on with Kim, if anything at all. The reports are strikingly different in nature, each naming distinct health issues Kim is reportedly dealing with. One of the rumors has it that the North Korean leader is recovering from a heart surgery, while the other claims he has been battling an unspecified brain disease and is currently in a coma. The latest theory, according to O’Carroll, is that Kim is “recovering from ankle problems.”

O’Carroll has poured some cold water onto the speculation, citing his own “US source,” who told him that, despite all the fuss, one shouldn’t be “surprised” if Kim returns to the public eye sometime soon, as if nothing had happened.

Pyongyang has yet to comment on the reports, with its customary silence paving the way for even wilder theories – not that any of them has been backed by evidence. Jack Posobiec from the conservative One America News Network (OANN) reported on Twitter, citing “multiple US officials,” that Kim not only had a heart valve surgery but also got infected with the novel coronavirus “from a Chinese doctor flown in to help” with the operation. Posobiec tweeted that Kim appears to be “stable” at the moment.

With speculations about Kim’s condition being rife, Seoul appeared to dismiss the CNN “scoop” as a nothing-burger. A South Korean government source, cited by Yonhap, reported that Seoul “has seen no unusual signs” with regard to Kim’s health, noting that the North Korean leader was out and about in public  “until recent days.”

The CNN report has also been refuted by Beijing. An official with the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department said that the life of the North Korean leader is not believed to be in danger, denying reports he was critically ill, as cited by Reuters.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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April 21, 2020

Yes, yes we have heard this over and over again how Kim shot his uncle then aunt etc only for these people to reappear at a later time sitting near Kim. Can someone tell the US intelligence agencies, what an oxymoron that is, to think of something original instead of running the tired old stories like weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and now Syria.

Reply to  Stj
April 21, 2020

If North Korea are famed for their propaganda then why not the US…Oh wait!

jenny 234
jenny 234
April 21, 2020

american intelligence = oxymoron

Olivia Kroth
April 21, 2020

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Olivia Kroth
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