China medical team in North Korea as Beijing-backed TV boss claims Kim Jong Un dead

  • China rushes medical team to advise North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, say reports

  • HKSTV top official says he has 'very solid source' to confirm Kim Jong Un is dead

Even as China has sent in a medical team to North Korea to advise the leader, a Beijing-backed satellite TV channel's vice director, who is also a niece of a Chinese foreign minister, has claimed that Kim Jong Un is dead.

Vice director of HKSTV Hong Kong Satellite Television told her 15 million followers on Weibo that her Kim Jong Un death claim was backed by a "very solid source."


Her post on Weibo since then has been shared widely on social media. There is also a viral image that is being shared that claims to show Kim Jong Un lying dead inside a glass coffin.

While these claims cannot be verified independently, the timing of it certainly makes one curious as now China has sent in a medical team.

[Also Read: Doctors from China are at secret Hyang San Hospital]

Reuters reported that China has dispatched a team to North Korea including medical experts to advise on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with the situation.

At this point, until there is a report from either KCNA or other state media, there is no way to verify whether Kim Jong Un is alive or dead.

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What really happened to Kim Jong Un?

Kim Jong Un's absence on April 15 raised doubts in international media leading to speculations that the North Korean leader's health was deteriorating. Kim Jong Un missing such an important holiday, which honors the founder of the country, Kim's late grandfather Kim Il Sung does raise curiosity.

Soon after that rumor mill noticed that neither KCNA or State-run had published any photos of Kim Jong Un overseeing an activity, most common being a weapons test, which are quite frequent in the country.

All of this soon led to speculative conclusions that the 36-year-old Kim was recovering from major surgery, or gravely ill, or maybe even dead.

Will Kim make an appearance on April 25?

Jean H. Lee, a senior journalist, who has spent considerable time in Pyongyang, April 25 would be a good day for Kim to make a public appearance.

"It's a military anniversary in North Korea on April 25. Not a major milestone year but if Kim Jong Un wants to quell rumors about his health, it would be a good occasion to make a public appearance. If he doesn't, the rumor mill will go into overdrive again. Bracing myself," she said in a tweet.

Trump calls CNN report on Kim Jong Un health fake

US President Donald Trump in a question during a press briefing if he was aware of the medical status of Kim Jong Un after CNN reported that the North Korean leader had a surgery.

Trump while in answer said that he was close to Kim and added: "I think the report was incorrect."

When asked by a CNN reporter if he has had any contact with Kim he snapped and said: "CNN is fake news, don't talk to me."

This article was first published on April 25, 2020