North Korea, Kim Jong-un health mystery: “In serious condition”. But Seoul and Beijing deny North Korea, Kim Jong-un health mystery: “In serious condition”. But Seoul and Beijing deny.


According to rumours, which American intelligence is also investigating, the dictator would feel bad after undergoing cardiovascular surgery. Parliamentary elections have just taken place in the South and uncontrolled voices tend to multiply around the vote since relations with the North are one of the key themes of the election campaign.

One of the darkest mysteries in the world, the health of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, is back in the foreground. To bring him to the attention of governments and the global media are rumours from Pyongyang, on which American intelligence is also investigating, according to which Kim is in serious condition, perhaps after a failed cardiovascular intervention.

The rumours are corroborated by the fact that last Wednesday the dictator did not participate in the celebration for the birthday of the grandfather Kim Il-sung, founder of the homeland, an important event for regime propaganda.

But in the constant whirlwind of rumours related to North Korea, especially in elections in the South like this, skepticism is a must. Especially since both the Seoul and Beijing authorities do not seem to support the hypothesis of a crisis of the nuclear regime, either with words or actions.

On Monday, the South Korean Daily NK site, known for collecting testimonials from the North (often unverifiable, sometimes unreliable), cited an anonymous source according to which Kim would be recovering after a cardiovascular surgery he would undergo on April 12. A few hours later CNN revealed, citing an anonymous intelligence exponent, that US services are “monitoring” reports that Kim is in “serious danger” of life.

An anonymous member of the American administration, quoted by Bloomberg, said the White House received a report that Kim would have gotten worse immediately after the operation. The last known release of the dictator dates back to April 11, when he chaired a meeting of the Workers’ Party and witnessed military exercises. Since then it has not appeared in public anymore, neither during the recent missile test of April 13 nor last Wednesday during the celebrations for the anniversary of the birth of the grandfather, a very unusual absence.

The politburo meeting on April 11 had also seen the return of the younger sister and right-hand man of the dictator, Kim Yo-jong, to the highest organ of the regime’s hierarchy, a “promotion” read by many as an official investiture at number two of the regime.

The health of Kim, known for being a big smoker and a big drinker, is a political topic of primary interest, given the absence of defined succession plans and the nuclear arsenal that North Korea now has. In 2014 the dictator disappeared for six weeks without explanation, even then physical problems were assumed.

However, a series of elements suggest to the experts’ great caution. First of all, the fact that no leaf moves in Pyongyang. The South Korean bureau did not detect “unusual signs” in the regime’s stronghold, which in the event of a dynastic crisis would probably be armoured, a calm confirmed also by the authoritative