Unconfirmed reports out of North Korea on Saturday claimed that the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, is dead at the age of 36. The story got a strong response online from people all over the world, including the U.S. Kim's continued absence from public events has speculation growing more and more.
On Friday, the Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai reported that Kim was in a "vegetative state" after undergoing a heart surgery on April 12, according to a report by The New York Post. However, on Saturday, the broadcast network Hong Kong Satellite Television (HKSTV) followed that up with a report that Kim has passed away. The report cited a "very solid source" on the story, which has begun circulating on social media as well.
The International Business Times reports that the Chinese messaging app Weibo is full of reports that Kim has died. Additionally, another unconfirmed report cites a senior member of the Communist Party of China, saying that Kim passed away due to complications with his heart surgery. The source claims that a surgeon was attempting to give Kim a stent, but that their hands were shaking so badly that the whole operation went wrong.
So far, these reports remain unconfirmed, and are being shared cautiously by those outside of North Korea. Given North Korea's strict control of all media passing in and out of the country, there is no telling when — if ever — reliable evidence of Kim's passing will surface.
In the meantime, "Kim Jong Un Dead" is now a trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. Social media is full of commentary on the North Korean ruler's life and rumors of his early passing. Here is what the world has to say about Kim Jong Un's reported passing.
North Korea Dictator Kim Jong-un has reportedly died, aged 36, following complications with heart surgery. pic.twitter.com/ogIpyPTxiU— Luke Addis (@mrlkdds) April 25, 2020
Shijian Xingzou, who is the Vice director of HKSTV Hong Kong Satellite Television, and other sources are leading on it.— Luke Addis (@mrlkdds) April 25, 2020
Kim Jong Un is reportedly at least brain dead, possibly dead, and his sister is poised to be the first female leader of North Korea. Wild.— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) April 25, 2020
Friendship with President Donald Trump
To be fair, we know exactly as much about Kim Jong Un’s health as we do trumps— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) April 25, 2020
Me making sure Kim Jong Un is dead before I make a joke about him pic.twitter.com/Sl5WqcIP9B— kyle/Free agent nba fan (@knicks_tape99) April 25, 2020
Some reports circulating that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is dead following a botched heart surgery.
Some reports he is alive but in bad shape, possibly vegetative.April 25, 2020