What Happens if Kim Jong Un is Really Gone?



What will happen to North Korea if something has happened to Kim Jong Un?

Speculation about Kim Jong Un’s health intensified over the weekend after tantalizing — yet unverified — reports about a visit by a Chinese medical team and movements of the North Korean leader’s armored train.

China sent a team including doctors and senior diplomats to advise its neighbor and longtime ally, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing three people familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, a train resembling one long used by North Korean rulers was parked last week near a coastal leadership compound in Wonsan, according to an analysis of satellite imagery released Sunday by the website 38 North. A prominent South Korea adviser also rejected the notion that Kim was ailing or dead.

“Our government position is firm,” Moon Chung-in, a foreign policy adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, told CNN. “He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13” with “no suspicious movements” detected. South Korea’s Unification Ministry on Monday reiterated a government assessment made last week that there has been no unusual movement spotted inside North Korea.

The latest developments shed little immediate light about the 36-year-old ruler, who U.S. officials said they were told had been in critical condition after cardiovascular surgery. Kim — a heavy smoker who has gained considerable weight since taking power in 2011 — hasn’t appeared in state media for two weeks, and missed the April 15 birthday celebrations for his late grandfather, state founder Kim Il Sung, for the first time.

State media Rodong Sinmun newspaper’s front page on Monday carried a story of Kim Jong Un expressing “gratitude” toward his construction workers in Wonsan-Kalma, a tourist beach resort zone that the leader has made one of his signature projects. It’s not unusual for state media to report on activities associated with the leader during an absence from the public.

The episode renews longstanding questions about the stability of a regime built on iron-fisted authority and a cult of personality for Kim, who has no known successor. Health scares have been a common occurrence over the years, and the leader’s medical condition is a closely guarded subject in one of the world’s most secretive states.

Any leadership change in North Korea could increase the threat of instability on China’s border and raise questions about control of the country’s expanding nuclear arsenal. Kim has also been central to U.S. President Donald Trump’s so far unsuccessful efforts to get him to reduce his weapons stockpile.

The mystery sent journalists, diplomats and non-proliferation experts scouring satellite images, state news outlets and unverified social media feeds for clues about Kim. The hashtag #kimjongundead was the among the top subjects trending globally Saturday on Twitter. The name of his younger sister Kim Yo Jong — a potential successor — was also trending in the U.S.

Kim similarly disappeared from state media for six weeks in 2014, prompting speculation that he had been sidelined by gout, an ankle injury or was even overthrown in a coup. He subsequently showed up walking with a cane during a visit to a new residential block.

The presence of Kim’s train in Wonsan, about 230 kilometers (140 miles) east of Pyongyang and the site of a palatial family compound, potentially fits with the South Korean account. Under Kim, Wonsan has seen a building boom for tourism facilities and lodgings for the state’s elite. The area has been a hotbed for missile tests, which are easy for Kim to view when he’s at the family compound.

The train, which Kim took to his failed summit with Trump in Hanoi, arrived at a nearby railway station on or before April 21, 38 North wrote, citing satellite imagery. The train was spotted again at the station on April 23, and appeared to be repositioned for departure.

North Korea’s eastern coast saw a burst of military activity on April 14, including cruise missile tests and fighter jet maneuvers, that at the time appeared to be timed to coincide with South Korean parliamentary elections. The next day, Kim was absent from events marking his grandfather’s birthday, known as the Day of the Sun and North Korea’s most politically significant holiday.

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44 Comments

  1. What an expert insight , "they will figure it out!"

  2. Maybe Kim Jong Un
    is in Israel undergoing circumcision buying high quality ballistic missiles
    per order of CCP XI JIN PIG
    whose missiles are outdated and very inaccurate all hot air.

  3. If Humpty Dumpty falls off that horse they'll never be able to put him together again.

  4. But he's not ill, he's un, don't get them mixed up!

  5. He’s simply gone Or in hiding from Covid19 or a break from his wife or rocking it out with The Rolling Stones, so Kim Jong Un where you bees?

  6. All I know is:

    Kim Jong Un looks EXACTLY like my husband

  7. Who gives a rat's ass if he's alive or dead who really gives a shit…

  8. South Korea could take North Korea back and become Korea

  9. COMMUNISM🚩⚒✊🏽⭐️

  10. Not one credible news report on YouTube about this man's death. No wonder since YouTube is an arm of the Chinese Communist party. They only report what China wants them to report.

  11. Eat a 🍆 Bloomberg!

  12. 'If' he's really gone? Is this journalism or guessing?

  13. What happens if Kim dies ? Ahhhhhh Dennis rodman breaksdown & tries to commit suicide ?

  14. His death wouldn't necessary mean freedom for those dying from starvation under his regime… but it would be a step closer…

  15. I think they just throw coins down the stairs and whatever noise it makes, that’s their name.

  16. update
    Kim is gravely ill because doctors cannot do a proper blood transfusion . finding cheese whiz in North Korea is impossible thanks to President trumps tariffs 🤪🤪🤪🤣🤣

  17. Looks like Kim has been fucked by the fickle finger of fate.

  18. I bet little fat man is saying the same thing about Trump that the democrats are saying.IT IS TRUMP"S FAULT that i smoked all of those cigarettes and hogged all the food,while at the same time crawling on his fat legs trying to get to his firecracker missiles buttons to push them towards america.lmao.He would take the rest of the North Koreans with him when we put about three or four nukes up his fat ass

  19. Kim Jong-un i give him 4 weeks if he doesn't show up that means either hes dead or hes a vegetable…if he's gone maybe the 25 million people in North Korea will have food to gain 5 more pounds each

  20. If he's dead then good riddance.

  21. (Please don't nuke me if u offend you in any way I dont know much about you) if kim Jon un is tested positive with corona virus and he passes away who will look after north Korea🇰🇷??? We respect you kim jon un. ✌

  22. In the words of the world's greatest talkshow host… "No moe Kim".

  23. This is what sucks about being a ruthless dictator and starving your people… Now that he needs one, he can't find a fat body double.

  24. Get the Dancing Coffin people

  25. Kim is the most handsome president

  26. I can't help but wonder, if they do an autopsy, they may find he is filled with cheese. That man loved his cheese. ❤️🧀

  27. He's been injected lysol and hydroxycloroquine to his body.

  28. Maybe I'm just tired of waiting for the little monster crusher of Korea to appear dead or alive , but all I heard in this interview was blah, blah, blah, "they'll figure it out." Considering that the world is really worried about this perennially threatening nuclear power, interviewee is a $mug Pr!¢k.

  29. Poor kim, the liberals wish the best for him

  30. If he dies all of the world will be partying

  31. Kim-Jong Un is in self isolation. Extreme Social Distancing.
    If you see him after death, it’s his body double.

  32. He's hiding out with Mini Mike

  33. Kim just tryin to get more subs

  34. Haven't had any military coups, because they don't report them!

  35. What if he is just on lockdown with his family like the rest of the world and doesnt want to contract covid 19?

  36. If Kim is really gone, then North Korea doesn’t become a better country!😂

  37. A lot of Celebrating, I’d imagine.🍾🎉🥳

  38. Wait anyone know what happened to him? Is he dead?

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