New claims of Kim Jong-un’s death have now emerged, with many netizens believing it was the Supreme Leader’s body-double in a state-issued photo over the weekend. Inaugurating a new fertiliser factory near Pyongyang, Kim Jong-un would have hoped to kill all existing rumours about his ill-health.
Kim Jong-un’s health rumours firstly began when he missed his grandfather Kim Il-Sung’s birth anniversary, who also happens to be the Founder of North Korea. The disappearance from his grandfather’s birthday commemoration on 15th April marks his first-ever absence since assuming power, which is apparently one of the most important holidays in North Korea. Later, a well-regarded website run by North Korean defectors, which usually provides credible reports claimed that the supreme leader had undergone some sort of heart procedure and was under-recovery. This later was translated by the media that Jong-un is “gravely ill”, “in a coma” or even dead.
All these rumours were set to rest when pictures of Kim Jong-un inaugurating the fertiliser factory were released.
But now there seems to be some evidence showing up on social media indicating that it was after all the leader’s body-double in footage released recently by the state media. According to a report, it was human rights activist Jennifer Zeng who first drew attention to differences between Jong-un and his supposedly body-double. “Is the Kim Jong-un appearing on May 1 the real one?” she asked on Twitter along with side-by-side comparisons of Kim’s “old and new” appearances.
Some theories have speculated the alleged look-alike recently pictured could be standing in due to the leader’s poor health, or even death. In case of death, this move may be done for the transition of power to Kim Yo-jong, sister of the current leader, and supposed heir to the throne. While others questioned if his absence was really a period of recovery following plastic surgery – explaining the apparent differences to his face.
He was also absent when Russia recently awarded him a medal to mark the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany.
Kim Jong-un is known to travel with body-doubles in a bid to foil assassination attempts. However, some are even speculating that a lookalike was used because the real leader is already dead. North Korea is known to be one of the most secretive nations of the world with only its state-run media revealing information to the world on the behest of their dear leader.
These are all speculations, truth isn’t found yet, let’s wait and see what Kim Jong-un or his team has to say about it, that too if they choose to speak on the matter.