As North Korea claims no coronavirus cases, Kim Jong Un's absence from key celebration sparks speculation

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a grand military parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary

At least 210 countries in the world have been affected by coronavirus. But North Korea that shares borders with China, where COVID-19 originated and South Korea, with the most confirmed cases of coronavirus initially, has claimed that it has zero cases of coronavirus.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's absence from the most important holiday of the country, the celebration of its founder Kim Il Sung's 108th birth anniversary held on April 15, has led to questions about Kim Jong Un's health.

The North Korean media did not report his presence or absence but just stated that senior officials made the customary visit to Pyongyang's Kumsusan Palace.

April 15 event

April 15 is considered the most important day in North Korea and Kim Jong Un has never given this a miss ever since he took charge as the country's leader. Every year Kim Jong Un visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on this day.

Absence on important days has sparked speculation about the health of leaders. In 2014, Kim Jong Un did not come before the public or attend any event for a month. This led to speculation about his health. Later it was revealed that a cyst was moved from his ankle and he appeared with a cane.

In 2008 when Kim Jong Il did not attend a parade celebrating North Korea's 60th anniversary, there was talk about his ill-health. Later it was reported that he had suffered a stroke and his health deteriorated and he died in 2011.

When Kim Jong Un disappeared for a month

However, the latest photo of Kim Jong Un was released last week when he attended a meeting on public health efforts. Kim Jong Un is said to have agreed to intensify nationwide emergency anti-epidemic services.

Despite these steps, North Korea claims to have zero cases of coronavirus. But the country took measures to close borders for tourists and kept foreign diplomats in quarantine.

Along with North Korea, 14 countries also claim to have zero cases of coronavirus. These are Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in Asia; Lesotho and Comoros, which are said to have geographical advantages and in the Oceania region; Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Palau, Vanuatu, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

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