Kim Jong-un still out of public eye, speculations gain ground

Kim Jong-un still out of public eye, speculations gain ground

Seoul, May 1 : North Korean leader Kim Jong-un remained out of public view for the 20th consecutive day as speculations regarding his health and the possible successor persisted. Speculation regarding Kim is rife as Ji Seongho, a North Korea defector who has now been elected as a lawmaker in South Korea claimed on Friday that he is "99 percent" sure that Kim died after surgery.

Yonhap News Agency quoted Ji as saying that Kim Yo-jong, Kim's sister and confidant is likely to succeed him. Kim Yo-jong has in the last two years been exerting increasing influence over the country's politics, she was even seen alongside Kim during his summits with US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Kim Jong-un's last public appearance was on April 11 when he presided over the politburo meeting of the ruling party.

Since then the state controlled media has carried reports attributed to him handling state affairs but no photo or video of him has been released. Kim's absence from North Korea's biggest national event -the ceremony to mark the birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, his late grandfather and national founder further fueled speculations regarding his health and discussions about who would be his possible successor. 36-year-old Kim Jong-un is obese and a heavy smoker, he is believed to be suffering from several health problems this is the reason why rumors regarding his health often starts when he is outside public view for a while. (UNI)

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