Kim Jong-un health: North Korean leader exposed in ‘red flag’ incident

Speculation about Kim’s health first arose due to his absence from the anniversary of the birthday of North Korea’s founding father and Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, on April 15. China has dispatched a team to North Korea including medical experts to advise on Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with the situation. Former CIA officer Jung Pak explained his lack of attendance at the celebration was a big red flag.

Speaking to CBS This Morning, Jung Pak said: “Kim has disappeared in the past for a week or two weeks and in 2014, he disappeared for six weeks.

“What was interesting about this current disappearance or absence is he missed one of the most important holidays and that was April 15, his grandfather’s birthday.

“Given that he rests his legacy and his legitimacy on his grandfather that was certainly a red flag.

“We’ve seen some recent reporting about his absence and so on.

“I think that is something to be looking for in the future.”

She added: “We know that he’s 36. He is obese and you can see from just the regime media itself that he has gained weight over the years.

“His summits over the past years had the unintended effect of showing how out of shape he is.

“We can hear him wheezing, we can see him sweating and straining. We can see for ourselves how poor his condition is.

“He also has a history of heart disease and diabetes.”

Reporting from inside North Korea is notoriously difficult because of tight controls on information.

A special train possibly belonging to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was spotted this week at a resort town in the country, according to satellite images reviewed by a Washington-based North Korea monitoring project, amid conflicting reports about Kim’s health and whereabouts.

The monitoring project, 38 North, said in its report on Saturday that the train was parked at the “leadership station” in Wonsan on April 21 and April 23. The station is reserved for the use of the Kim family, it said.


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Though the group said it was probably Kim Jong Un’s train, Reuters has not been able to confirm that independently, or whether he was in Wonsan.

The report said: “The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast.

Daily NK, a Seoul-based website that reports on North Korea, cited one unnamed source in North Korea on Monday as saying that Kim had undergone medical treatment in the resort county of Hyangsan north of the capital Pyongyang.

It said that Kim was recovering after undergoing a cardiovascular procedure on April 12.

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