Kim Jong-un’s Disappearance, and the World’s Reaction

Kim Jong-un's Disappearance, and the World's Reaction

Since April 11, Kim Jong-un only appeared publicly recently on May 1, says Fox news. There were many rumors floating around about the possibility of a heart surgery, and Kim in a vegetative state or dead, but on the 6th, Kim appears at the opening of a fertilizer factory.

South Korean official Kim Byung-kee says “Kim Jong-un had focused on consolidating internal affairs such as military forces and party-state meetings, and coronavirus concerns have further limited his public activity,” to acknowledge the problem. Kim Jong-un similarly states that there weren’t any heart-related health problems.

The disappearance is still quite mysterious and Dr. Cochran, a Westminster history teacher offers his knowledge about North Korea and dictatorships at a time before Kim returned to the public:

“North Korea is often identified as a communist dictatorship, but in many ways, it left that behind in the 1990s and is now a strange hybrid of fascism, monarchy, and theocracy. So far, the North Korean dictatorship has followed an obvious line of succession, with the father choosing a son as his heir: Kim Il-sung to Kim Jong-il to Kim Jong-un. However, seeing as Jong-un’s son is only 4 right now that is not a viable option. This then raises the important question of what will succession look like in North Korea? It could remain a family dynasty and one of Jong-un’s siblings could take over, which would be similar to say the aristocratic dynasties in medieval China and Europe. Alternatively, since the Kim regime relies so heavily on the military to stay in power it is equally likely one of the generals may seize control. What could really make things messy is if there is no agreed-upon succession in place. That situation often leads to a horrible civil war, as witnessed many, many times across the world through time.”

This helps us to understand the possibilities of the states of nations with dead dictators and leaders especially considering North Korea as a nuclear power.

Though this event left many questions, according to the New York Post, Kim Jong-un disappeared again after May 1st for another 13 days. He is probably alive, but U.S. intelligence won’t know until anything else is leaked. Robert O’Brien says, “He seems to be out and cutting ribbons on fertilizer factories,” in reference to the sole public appearance.

Mr. O’Brien also states that it is impossible for intelligence to know whether the pictures of Kim’s public appearance are real. With this consideration, there have been theories about Kim using body doubles in public. The pictures released to stop rumors of death or illness have heightened these conspiracies as people noted “discrepancies in facial, hairline, and dental features,” says New York Post.

Though these theories are unlikely, we will never be certain of the true whereabouts of Kim during this time.