The infamous leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, is reportedly very ill. With limited sources available to provide details, Foreign Policy magazine is asking if the reclusive dictator is still alive.
Whether or not the North Korean leader is dead, gravely ill, recovering, or perfectly fine is still unknown and most likely will be until anything official is released from Pyongyang.
The only thing we can say for certain is that Kim failed to show up for “The Day of the Sun,” on April 15, which is the birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country’s founder and eternal president. And something like that is noteworthy since it’s arguably the nation’s single-most important day.
“It’s difficult to interpret North Korea, and they have certain patterns that create expectations in our part,” said John Delury, a professor of East Asian studies at Yonsei University in Seoul. “The pattern that we expect is that Kim Jong Un would appear on the anniversary of his grandfather’s birth, so when that didn’t happen, that kind of opened the door to a lot of speculation.”
“It would be a major shock to the system if he really died, and North Korea would go through a transition period. Not an unstable one, it’s going to be a stable transition period,” Go said. (source)
It would be interesting to see what happens to North Korea if Kim Jong Un is dead. The nation is very small and weak, but is in a critical location between China, Russia, Japan, and US influence in East Asia, and anything which happens in that nation could have major effects on the stability of the region. It also could not come at a more tense period, when the US has been loosening the post-World War II shackles imposed upon Japan, China has been attempting to take a more aggressive world posture along with Russia, and China is suffering from a serious public relations problem with her handling of the COVID-19 issue as well as many problems pertaining to agriculture and economy.