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Fresh Reports Say Kim ‘Evacuated’ From Pyongyang As Trump Slams “Fake News” Of His Sudden Decline 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Kim Jong Un was last seen publicly on the weekend of April 11th, but after he was nowhere in sight during the national holiday celebration of his grandfather's birthday on April 15 — highly unusual for the important “Day of the Sun” commemorations, this triggered multiple unconfirmed reports that the North Korean leader was in critical condition after receiving heart surgery.

First, it should be noted that the Western mainstream press often gets North Korea completely wrong and in the case of the latest speculation a high degree of critical skepticism is warranted further given the initial source for the heart surgery claims was a US state-funded media outlet based in South Korea, the Daily NK website.

South Korean officials also downplayed the news, which had initially riled markets at the start of the week, suggesting he was “touring provincial areas”. President Trump also during the regular White House briefing Thursday evening called rumors of Kim’s ill health “fake news”.

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, via KCNA.

 

While there's been lots of questions and speculation, it still remains no satisfactory answers have been given.

Instead, more contradictory reports out of Seoul based on intelligence sources, which suggest he's been "evacuated" from Pyongyang to a coastal city. The new reports say he's on the move and out of the public eye primarily due to COVID-19 outbreaks among key sectors of the country, also which Pyongyang officials have sought to downplay. 

UPI outlines the latest reports as follows:

Kim may have been evacuated to the coastal city of Wonsan, Kangwon Province, where he may have been providing field guidance at a resort construction site, South Korean news service Newsis reported Friday, citing Seoul's national intelligence sources.

According to Newsis, movement has been observed among "dedicated vehicles" for Kim that suggest he may have been evacuated from Pyongyang. A special train for Kim's use was stationed in Wonsan, but Kim's private plane remained in Pyongyang, the report says.

And further, "In the new location, Kim may be carrying out field guidance activities, at Tanchon Hydroelectric Power Plant, or visiting a North Korean artillery unit in Sondok, where short-range projectiles were fired in March," the report speculates based on official sources.

If he does make an appearance anytime soon, it's likely to be related to North Korea's Military Foundation Day events on Saturday, though reports and official photographs could still take days to be released. 

Assuming he is rapidly moving to different locations of the country, it's unlikely his condition would be "gravely ill" as the initial dire headlines speculated. US intelligence is said to be monitoring the situation. 

Meanwhile, joint US-South Korea military drills have just wrapped up. The five-day long regularly scheduled air exercise came following the North launching at least five missile tests so far this year, and as Pyongyang's anger and frustration over stalled nuclear talks with Washington is increasingly on display.


 


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