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Friday, 26 June 2020

Japan has 'some suspicions' about the health of Kim Jong-un and his 'very strange movements' after months of rumors about North Korean dictator

Japan has 'some suspicions' about the health of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after months of speculation about his wellbeing. 
Defence minister Taro Kono revealed his county's concerns at a press conference on Thursday, the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. 
Kim was not seen for nearly three weeks in April and there were some reports that the despot had died or was gravely ill following heart surgery. 
He was finally pictured on May 1st at a new fertiliser plant in his country but has since disappeared once again. 
Japan has 'some suspicions' about the health of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after months of speculation about his wellbeing. He is pictured here on his last public appearance on May 24
Japan has 'some suspicions' about the health of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after months of speculation about his wellbeing. He is pictured here on his last public appearance on May 24
Mr Kono said: 'We have some suspicions about his [Kim Jong-un's] health,' the Sun reported
He said there had been 'very strange movements' in North Korea, which were because Kim is 'trying not to get infected'. He added the virus is 'spreading around the country'.
North Korea has steadfastly claimed it hasn't recorded a single virus case, but foreign experts are highly skeptical.
Mr Kono refused to elaborate on what could be wrong with Kim and simply said: 'I'm not allowed to discuss intelligence issues.' 
He added that the US, Japan and other countries have been sharing intelligence about him.
Amid the uncertainty about Kim's health, it was suggested that the dictator may have used a body double in his first public appearance after fevered speculation that he had died. 
He was pictured at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a fertiliser plant on the outskirts of Pyongyang at the beginning of may, his first appearance since April 11. 
On April 15, he inexplicably missed a Day of the Sun celebration honouring his grandfather Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea, and his father, Kim Jong Il.
His unprecedented absence sparked a wave of speculation about his health, particularly with regards to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kim is known for his indulgent diet, penchant for vintage claret and his smoking habit, all of which would make him more susceptible to the contagion.
Earlier this week, North Korea suspended its plans for more military action against the South, the country's state media said.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the country's Central Military Commission which was chaired by Kim.
A week earlier, his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, threatened unspecified military action - shortly after she gave the order to blow up a joint liaison office. 
Kim was not seen for nearly three weeks in April and amid reports he had died. He was finally pictured on May 1st at a new fertiliser plant (above)  in his country but has since disappeared once again
Kim was not seen for nearly three weeks in April and amid reports he had died. He was finally pictured on May 1st at a new fertiliser plant (above)  in his country but has since disappeared once again 
The younger Kim had repeatedly warned South Korea to stop sending propaganda leaflets across the border, before giving the order to destroy the office.
She had also threatened to send 12million North Korea leaflets to the South and to deploy troops to the demilitarised zone. 
Ms Kim had also overseen the erection of propaganda loudspeakers at the border, some of which are now being dismantled. 
While observers say it is not immediately clear why North Korea suddenly decided to ease tensions, it is possible the two Kims are establishing a new 'good cop, bad cop' dynamic.
The moves could also have been designed to boost Ms Kim's standing within the country and groom her for leadership, amid fears for her brother's health.
Having made the public and wider world aware of her new, active, role within the North's leadership, it is possible the Hermit Kingdom is now easing off. 
The elder Kim 'took stock of the prevailing situation' before deciding to suspend the military plans on Tuesday, state-run media said, without elaborating.
On Thursday, North and South Korea on Thursday separately marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War with largely subdued commemorations amid the coronavirus pandemic. 
South Korea issued a joint statement with the United States, which fought alongside it during the 1950-53 war triggered by a surprise North Korean invasion. 
Kim's younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, threatened the South with unspecified military action - shortly after she gave the order to blow up a joint liaison office
Kim's younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, threatened the South with unspecified military action - shortly after she gave the order to blow up a joint liaison office 
The younger Kim has spearheaded a recent escalation in tensions with South Korea, giving the order to blow up a joint liaison office last week
The younger Kim has spearheaded a recent escalation in tensions with South Korea, giving the order to blow up a joint liaison office last week
The U.S. still stations about 28,500 soldiers in South Korea in what North Korea views as a military threat.
In the statement, South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said they 'commit to strengthening and adapting the alliance to meet present and future challenges' and urged North Korea to implement past disarmament pledges.
Jeong and other South Korean military leaders later paid their respects at a national cemetery in Seoul, where about 130,000 war-related dead, mostly South Korean soldiers, are buried or honored. 

North Korea has reportedly blown up its joint liaison office with the South earlier this month, after Kim's sister threatened military action against Seoul
North Korea has reportedly blown up its joint liaison office with the South earlier this month, after Kim's sister threatened military action against Seoul

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