Suspicions about the health of the North Korean leader continue to swirl, with Japan saying that something “very strange” is happening.
The country’s defense minister commented on Kim Jong-un at a press briefing, saying that the dictator who regularly fails to perform his official duties has caused “some suspicion”.
Kim Jong-un has disappeared from office, sparking rumors that the leader was either dead or incapacitated.
He was then “seen alive” 20 days later while visiting a fertilizer factory in Suncheon.
But the sighting did little to extinguish the flames of suspicion, as the footage from the visit appeared to show a small injury to the right wrist – a mark that was not present during its previous public appearance on April 11.
He did another flight after that, reappearing three weeks later to discuss the alerting of his nuclear forces amid speculation about his health.
New comments from Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono have revived rumors about the dictator.
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“We have suspicions about her [Kim Jong-un’s] health, “he told local journalists, according to The sun.
Kono said the “very strange movements” in North Korea were due to the fact that Kim “was trying not to be infected,” saying that the coronavirus was “spreading” in the country.
He also claimed that Japan was exchanging information with the United States and other countries regarding Jong-un’s health, but did not want to “discuss intelligence matters” at the conference, the report said.
North Korea insisted it was not affected by the coronavirus pandemic, not registering any cases. This left experts skeptical, especially since there have been more than 12,000 cases and 283 deaths from COVID-19 in neighboring South Korea.
The notoriously secret nation has taken extreme measures since the virus was first reported in January. It was among the first countries to seal its borders in February and automatically quarantined all foreign diplomats in Pyongyang for a month and controlled the movements of its population.
After asking for help in March as cases soared around the world, experts say the pandemic has worsened the country’s economic problems.
In an apparent attempt to allay health concerns, photographs of Jong-un were released on June 7, showing him all the smiles at a political bureau meeting.
However, the details of the photos suggested that the photos were not recent, as no one at the meeting wore a face mask.
It is not the first time that Jong-un has “disappeared”. He has not been seen for 40 days in 2014, missing multiple public appearances suspected of being due to medical ankle surgery.