New reports are coming in that are causing rumors to spread that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un may be in poor health.
The reports also indicate that the coronavirus pandemic may be spreading through North Korea like wildfire.
The New York Post reported that Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono addressed North Korea’s “strange” actions over the past few weeks while speaking at the Japanese Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo on Thursday.
This came immediately after Pyongyang claimed that, in the face of “hostile policy” by the U.S., it had no choice but to counter “nuclear with nuclear” in an announcement that was made on the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.
Kono said that he thinks North Korea is trying to escalate tensions to “take away the attention of North Korean people away from Kim Jong Un’s health, or the bad harvest or the bad economy.”
“We suspect, number one, that COVID-19 is spreading around North Korea as well, and Kim Jong Un is trying to… not [be] infected by COVID-19,” he said.
“So sometimes he doesn’t come [out] in public.”
“Number two, we have some suspicion about his health,” Kono continued.
“Thirdly, the harvest last year in North Korea wasn’t quite good – bad, actually… The economy in North Korea is not doing well.”
He then dodged questions about Kim’s health, saying that he was not “allowed to discuss intelligence issues, including if it is [an] intelligence issue or not.”
He also attributed his opinion that COVID-19 is spreading through North Korea to public information.
“The commander of US forces in Korea also talked about that, he believes that COVID-19 is already inside North Korea,” Kono said.
“I personally agree with his view. We just need to estimate how widely it is spreading.”
Rumors swirled that Kim was in poor health earlier this year after he did not attend a celebration dedicated to his late ruling grandfather Kim Il Sung on April 15.
Reports began to circulate that Kim was in a vegetative state following a botched surgery, until he reappeared again a few weeks later.
Nevertheless, questions about the dictator’s health have continued to linger.
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