Is Kim Jong Un On His Deathbed? Reports Say He Is

( Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, has reportedly fallen into a coma, with his sister Kim Yo Jong ready to take over the nation.

That’s according to a report from a diplomat for South Korea who speculated on the health of the North Korean dictator. The diplomat, Chang Song-min, served as an aide to late South Korean president Kim Dae-jung. He made his speculative statements to South Korean media recently.

Chang said Kim was in a coma, “but his life has not ended.”

“A complete succession structure has not been formed, so Kim Yo Jong is being brought to the fore as the vacuum cannot be maintained for a prolonged period,” he said.

According to a Yonhap News Agency report, the spy agency is South Korea said Kim Jong Un, who is 36 years old, had begun to delegate some of his authorities to people who are close to him, which include his younger sister.

The South Korea National Intelligence Service held a private meeting with other lawmakers last week, saying, “Kim Yo-jong, the first vice department director of the Workers’ Party Central Committee, is steering overall state affairs on the delegation.” Kim Jong Un still has “absolutely authority,” though.

Whether the speculation from either the South Korean diplomat or the spy agency is actually true, though, is in doubt. There have been plenty of other times where speculation about the health and well-being of North Korean leaders has come into question.

Because the country is so closed off from the rest of the world, it is very hard to verify what is real and what is not. People often speculate about Kim’s demise when he disappears from the public spotlight for an extended period of time.

Back in April, reports came out of North Korea that Kim had heart surgery after not being seen in public for almost an entire month. Speculation about his ill health was accentuated when he didn’t attend a commemoration celebration for the founder of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, who is Kim’s late grandfather.

Kim’s absence wasn’t ever explained by the North Korean government. Then, almost out of nowhere, video surfaced showing Kim at the completion of a fertilizer factory near the city of Pyongyang. Following the release of that video, government officials with South Korea finally said “our government believes” there wasn’t any indication that Kim had undergone a medical procedure at all.

It’s reports like this that have the rest of the world questioning whether Kim is in good health, or whether he is truly on his deathbed.

Similar reports happened surrounding Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, who was the second Supreme Leader of North Korea, serving from 1994 to 2011. He took over after his father passed away in 1994.

In 2008, speculation about Kim Jong-il’s health swirled when he was noticeably absent from public appearances. But it wasn’t until three years later that he actually died, two days before the North Korean government announced it.