AGENCIES, Seoul: As the days go by, death rumours of North Korea’s reclusive leader Kim Jong-un continues to grow. And there’s a new dimension to the mystery which relates to a video of him that has gone viral and an unverified photograph showing the body of him in a glass coffin.
The video is a five-minute duration shows the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the memorial of the founder of North Korea Kim Il-sung, South Korean online newspaper Daily NK has reported. The video has circulated in the area of North Korea bordering China and now local authorities retrying to figure out the video’s origins and how it entered the country.
“The video in question looks like it was broadcast by Korean Central Television [KCTV] and entered the country through China and it claimed that Kim suddenly died during on-the-spot inspections on April 25, a source told Daily NK.
However, many have speculated that he has died following complications from heart surgery earlier in the month.
Besides the video, a fake photo showing Kim Jong Un lying in a glass coffin has also been in circulation by Japanese network JNN and Hong Kong Satellite TV, although its actual origin was still unclear.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s intelligence chief said on Thursday that the North Korean leader was “sick” — and his country has emergency plans for a potential power struggle if he dies.
Global media are now beginning to talk about possible succession.
Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo Jong or Kim Pyong Il are possible candidates who can take over. Kim Yo Jong currently serves as the first deputy director of the North Korean communist party’s propaganda and agitation department, while Jong-un’s uncle Kim Pyong Il who has returned to the country after four decades is also a strong candidate.
Pyong il was sent on diplomatic exile from 1979 onward after Jong-il convinced their father Kim il Sung that he was ineligible for ruling, thanks to his “womanising” reputation. According to reports, Pyon Il, who returned to Pyongyang last November after his retirement, has been in house arrest since.
Kim hasn’t been seen publicly since April 11 and also missed the April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of his grandfather, North Korea founder, Kim Il Sung.
His absence has sparked conflicting reports that he could be in a vegetative state, dead, or — as South Korea says — is absolutely fine and has been staying “in the Wonsan area” on the North’s eastern coastline.
The media within North Korea has continued to report on the leader’s activities but has not released any photos or videos that can suggest he is alive.