Unsubstantiated rumours about the supreme leader’s health have always been a subject of debate
The World woke up with big news on Tuesday from American news publications and journalists. CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto claimed that the US intelligence was monitoring the supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un’s health deteriorated following a surgery. So, we decided to do a fact check
A correspondent to NBC news, Katy Tur tweeted that the North Korean leader was purportedly “brain dead following a cardiac surgery and slipped into brain dead. She deleted her tweet later and apologized citing that she is waiting for the more information.
Soon, reports emerged from South Korean government officials which said that Katy Tur’s claims about the Supreme leader was not accurate.
This is the not the first time US newsrooms have reported about the ill health of North Korean leader, only to be debunked later.
The unsubstantiated rumours about the supreme leader, Kim Jong Un’s health have always been a subject of debate and discussion. Journalists face several problems in verifying reports from North Korea.
How speculation about ill health of Kim Jong Yun started?
Journalists and North Korea watchers keep an eye on public events and official meetings to understand the development in the country due to lack of information sources.
Kim didn’t participate in the birth anniversary celebration of grandfather Kim Il Sung on April 15 for the first time since 2012. It is an important public event in the country. This made people mind running, why Kim Jong didn’t come to the event? He was also not present at a missile launch event last week, an event he hardly misses.
What made journalists come up with this claim?
Several journalists including the CNN jumped to the idea about Kim Jong Un’s ill-health following a report in Korean published in The Daily NK. The Daily NK is an online portal funded by private donors and US government agencies which gets its information purportedly North Korean informants and defectors.
The Daily NK reported that Kim Jong-un recently had a cardiovascular procedure and he is still on special treatment, said an English version of the report. However, the report was later updated and the headline was changed to “Source: Kim Jong Un recently received heart surgery.”
Reuters reported that the claims concerning the supreme leader were dismissed by the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department and the South Korean government.
The North Korean government, who usually carefully monitor the International news regarding Kim has not given any official statement so far.
What should we believe then?
Due to the lack of enough information and an official announcement from the North Korean government, we can’t come to a conclusion. The confusion regarding his health will stay until there is enough evidence for the claim or North Korean makes and official statement.
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