North Korea’s Silence About Leader’s Health Raises Questions
Reuters has reported that Chinese officials sent medical personnel to North Korea after several reports have surfaced across the globe that leader Kim Jung Un has died or is possibly in a vegetative state after cardiac surgery.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Kim Jong Un's disappearance from the public eye is raising speculation about not only his health but also about who's next in line to run North Korea if anything happens to the 36-year-old leader.
Some experts say his sister and close associate Kim Yo Jong is most likely since North Korea has been ruled by the Kim family for seven decades.
But others say a collective leadership is possible because of North Korea's deeply patriarchal society.
Some believe that could eventually plunge North Korea into chaos since its founding mythology centers the right to rule around the Kim bloodline.
South Korean officials say they've seen no unusual activity in North Korea and leader Kim Jong Un appears to be handling state affairs as usual.
The government said it had no information about rumors Kim was in fragile health after surgery.
The possibly of high-level instability raised troubling questions about the future of the nuclear-armed state.
Speculation often surfaces about North Korea’s leadership based on attendance at important state events.
Kim missed the country's most important holiday, the celebration of the birthday of his late grandfather and the nation's founder Kim Il Sung on April 15. But state media has reported he sent messages and gifts recently.