Rumors are swirling that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has fallen into a coma, and that his sister has effectively taken over the country.
Chang Song-min, former aide to South Korea’s late president Kim Dae-jung, made this claim days after it was reported that Kim had handed over some power to his younger sister.
“I assess him to be in a coma, but his life has not ended,” Chang said, according to the U.K. Mirror. “A complete succession structure has not been formed, so Kim Yo-jong is being brought to the fore as the vacuum cannot be maintained for a prolonged period.”
This comes days after the National Intelligence Service (NIS) announced that Kim will still “exert absolute power” but will gradually transfer his authority to Kim Yo-jong “to ease stress.” Kim, who is only 36 years-old, has only been seen publicly a few times this year, with rumors even spreading that he had died at one point. It was believed that a “botched” heart surgery to fit a stent had either left him gravely ill or killed him.
However, the death rumors were finally put to rest when the paranoid dictator was seen at a fertilizer factory’s opening ceremony in Suchon, 30 miles north of the country’s capital Pyongyang.
While it may seem like Kim’s death would be a good thing, experts say that it could actually spell disaster for the people of North Korea. Chris Mikul, author of “My Favourite Dictators,” said that Kim may be the most benevolent” leader to rule the hermit kingdom, even though he is a “brutal dictator.” He added that while studying in Switzerland growing up, Kim became “completely westernized” as he developed a love for things like basketball and video games.
This means that, believe it or not, Kim has been one of the more stable leaders North Korea has ever had, as he has shown “some concern for welfare.”
“While no one likes to see the continued success of a brutal dictator, if Kim Jong-un had actually died… it’s not necessarily going to be a good thing for the world,” Mikul said. “We know he has got nuclear weapons now, which makes him the most successful Kim because he has managed to attain a goal they were trying to achieve since the Sixties.”
“They know nuclear weapons are the insurance policy that will keep the regime in power forever and he’s done it – but he won’t pull the trigger because it would end in the destruction of North Korea,” he added.