Kim Jong Un Is Said to Be 'Vegetative' or Dead

But Reuters says it can't confirm his condition
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2020 12:30 PM CDT
Kim Jong Un Is Said to Be 'Vegetative' or Dead
In this Saturday, April 11, 2020, file photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang.   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

Kim Jong Un is either vegetative or dead after undergoing a failed cardiovascular procedure on April 12, according to Asian media reports—but Reuters has been unable to confirm or deny. All reports agree that China has sent a team of doctors and officials to North Korea to advise on the nation's leader, but beyond that, it's a wash. The Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Gendai reports that a member of the team said Kim grabbed his chest and fell to the ground on a visit to the countryside in early April, per the Jerusalem Post. The team member also said Kim's accompanying doctor called for the team's help, and Kim was in a vegetative state.

A Beijing-backed TV channel in Hong Kong goes a step further, reporting that a "very solid source" tells them Kim is dead, per the International Business Times. It was reported this week that Kim was out of the public eye and "gravely ill," but South Korea said it couldn't confirm the report. President Trump downplayed it, saying "I think the report was incorrect," but didn't say whether North Korean officials had filled him in. Meanwhile, Reuters is treading carefully, saying it "was unable to immediately determine what the trip by the Chinese team signaled in terms of Kim’s health." (More Kim Jong Un stories.)

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