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“Ashy & Bloated”: Analysts Pore Over Kim Jong Un Photos For Clues To Mystery Absence

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Trump somewhat controversially reacted to Kim Jong Un's Friday public reemergence at a ceremony at Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer Factory as follows after a 20-day absence by tweeting, "I, for one, am glad to see he is back, and well!"

For starters, a new mark on his right wrist strongly suggests the 36-year old could have just gone through a procedure. Below are notable photos and new observations being circulated in media reports.

Small wrist puncture:

Fox News cites experts to make the following observation

“It looks like a right radial artery puncture … [which is] often used for access to the coronary arteries for stent placement,” one U.S.-trained medical professional told NK News, adding it appeared to be “about a week old.”

“It is hard to tell from the foreshortening of the photograph, but it seems a bit medial. It is not an IV [intravenous], which wouldn’t leave such a mark.”

A South Korea surgeon also told NK News that the mark on Kim’s arm “looks more plausible to be a procedure or check-up mark from a procedure on a heart-related issue.”

Closer examination of the video footage has revealed what appears to be a needle mark on Kim’s right wrist, a mark that medical experts say could indicate that Kim had a “cardiovascular procedure.”

Ashy and bloated:

A major medical procedure like heart surgery in most cases results in noticeable weight lost, but this didn't appear to be the case in Kim's latest public appearance.

Wearing a Mao suit and with a fresh hair cut, many observed that he's not looking his best, but also doesn't seem like someone on the verge of death days prior, as many unsubstantiated rumors and reports held.

p>Kim's Sister:

 

It's believed that should anything happen to Kim Jong Un, his younger sister Kim Yo Jong would likely take power. 

Notably she was the closest in proximity to the leader during Friday's factory visit. Reports Bloomberg, "Such proximity is often used by North Korean propaganda organs to indicate the leader’s favor and might show that the worldwide discussion about her taking his place hadn’t damaged her standing."

She, like here brother, is relatively young at 30-years old.


Kim Yo Jong, center, on May 1 at the ceremony, via KCNA/Korea News Service, AP/Bloomberg

Golf cart a sign of recovering from something?

Analysts have noted he rarely uses such short distance transport in official appearances. 

Could it suggest a fatigued or weakened health situation, or that he's recovering from a procedure? Of course, it could be as simple as standard procedure at such a large complex as a fertilizer factory.

Threat of coronavirus

 

From the beginning of the great "where's Kim" saga which began following his prior April 11 appearance, given he failed to show up at major public events like his grandfather's birthday anniversary, a national event, it was suggested especially in South Korea media that he was taking precautions against coronavirus.

This also after one among his bodyguard entourage was reported to have tested positive for COVID-19. But in the newest footage, there are very few around with facemasks or protective gear, which signals Pyongyang's consistent downplaying that the pandemic has impacted the country.

Some personnel working within the factory, however, are seen working at terminals with masks.

Interestingly, Kim is also seen smoking at one point in the official state media footage, unlikely in the event that had heart surgery days ago. 

Or also it could be intentionally meant to throw onlookers off in terms of just such a suspicion.

* * *

As we described from the start of our own initial reporting on the matter last month: 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.

This appears to have happened yet again. No doubt Pyongyang enjoys when it can keep the outside world guessing and in a breathless state of speculation, only to later have a 'last laugh' when pundits get it wrong.


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