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Old 04-20-2020, 10:52 PM
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Kim Jong Un "In Grave Condition"


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Originally Posted by Frazzled View Post
US intelligence now monitoring reports that Kim Jong Un is in grave condition. The article says after surgery, but my gut feeling is assassination attempt. I bet this is related in any case..

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/20/polit...rea/index.html
This was posted in the Pit in the Trump Clusterfuck thread, but my response there is hijack, so I thought I'd move it here:

So if he dies, who takes over? Is there another Kim warmed up in the bullpen? The younger sister doesn't seem ready for prime time. Would this be the end of the Kim Dynasty in North Korea? Will the generals get behind just one of their own or does North Korea* descend into civil war?

*Edit from original is for Robot Arm. Yes, technically, Korea is already in an arrested state of civil war.
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Old 04-20-2020, 11:33 PM
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Seoul sees no suspicious activity in North amid Kim concerns
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The presidential Blue House says it had no information about the rumors on Kim’s health. Speculation often surfaces about North Korea’s leadership based on attendance at important state events. Kim, who is in his mid-30s, missed the celebration of his late grandfather and state founder Kim Il Sung on April 15, the country’s most important holiday.

Kim has not made a public appearance since presiding over a political bureau meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on April 11, discussing preventive measures against the coronavirus and electing his sister as an alternate member of the bureau.

“We have no information to confirm regarding rumors about Chairman Kim Jong Un’s health issue that have been reported by some media outlets. Also, no unusual developments have been detected inside North Korea,” Blue House spokesman Kang Min-seok said in the statement.

A political upheaval in North Korea would be unlikely even if Kim became sidelined by health problems, according to analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at South Korea’s private Sejong Institute.

Cheong said Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, is already exercising significant influence within the government and that most members of Pyongyang’s leadership share an interest with the Kim family in maintaining the North’s system.
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Old 04-21-2020, 06:14 AM
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if he dies they will just pull a weekend at Bernies and stuff him and let him stay around for a while longer.
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Old 04-21-2020, 07:26 AM
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If he dies, I think Don the Con will put on a show of wailing and gnashing of teeth worthy of a North Korean newscaster.

So it looks like they might get their first female leader. I'm not terribly up on the size of the family, but are they in danger of running out of Kims?
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Old 04-21-2020, 08:52 AM
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Supposedly his sister, who is next in line, is just as bad.

To Un's 'credit' he seems to have shaken up and purged a lot of higher ups which probably lead to fear and subservience among those people. If his sister isn't as good as politics it could lead to more of an uprising within the higher ranks.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
If he dies, I think Don the Con will put on a show of wailing and gnashing of teeth worthy of a North Korean newscaster.

So it looks like they might get their first female leader. I'm not terribly up on the size of the family, but are they in danger of running out of Kims?
It's possible.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:17 AM
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This is the best news I've heard in weeks.

Of course who knows what would come next. Hard to imagine that it would be worse. But...

The army is nearly as starving as the rest of the population. So that would be a weird fight.

I suspect a puppet 'Kim', perhaps his sister. While the NK media convinces the 'country' that Kim is on his mountain top overlooking and taking care of them all.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:19 AM
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According to this Bloomberg article, apart from his sister, the known possibilities are:
- He's believed to have gotten married in 2009 and had 3 children, but none of this is officially recognized
- His only other sibling is a brother who hasn't been involved in politics at all
- A nephew, but that family has fallen out of favor (his father is in exile)

Last edited by scr4; 04-21-2020 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:32 AM
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Supposedly his sister, who is next in line, is just as bad.

To Un's 'credit' he seems to have shaken up and purged a lot of higher ups which probably lead to fear and subservience among those people. If his sister isn't as good as politics it could lead to more of an uprising within the higher ranks.
I don't know much about North Korea, but I would suspect that in a patriarchal society like that, having a woman in charge would put her in more precarious a position than a man. She would more prone to having factions whispering about having her deposed at the slightest sign of any incompetent or weak leadership. Which, in turn, could make her hyper-sensitive and prone to cracking down in all the more bloody fashion.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:34 AM
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According to this Bloomberg article, apart from his sister, the known possibilities are:
- He's believed to have gotten married in 2009 and had 3 children, but none of this is officially recognized
- His only other sibling is a brother who hasn't been involved in politics at all
- A nephew, but that family has fallen out of favor (his father is in exile)
Any of Kim Jong Un's children couldn't be older than their teens at most, hardly an age for national leadership.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:45 AM
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I wasn't aware that he had any young'Uns. Not officially recognized? What's up with that? One would think that the birth of one of his children would be greeted with jewels blossoming on trees and birds flying in formation to create hearts. No announcements on children? Why not?
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:49 AM
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Any of Kim Jong Un's children couldn't be older than their teens at most, hardly an age for national leadership.
In the old days some Kings started their reign at a very young age but they had a regent and others who really ran the show until the king was around 18. For example Louis XIV of France served from age of 5 until he died at 76. Queen Liz has reigned for 68 years so she might beat that record. Louis XV also took the throne at age 5

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 04-21-2020 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:13 AM
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I wasn't aware that he had any young'Uns. Not officially recognized? What's up with that? One would think that the birth of one of his children would be greeted with jewels blossoming on trees and birds flying in formation to create hearts. No announcements on children? Why not?
Fat fuck is using them as his organ donors and eating what's left.
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:19 AM
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Actually Wikipedia says Ri Sol-ju has been officially recognized as "respected first lady" since 2018.
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:40 AM
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Which, in turn, could make her hyper-sensitive and prone to cracking down in all the more bloody fashion.
There are two techniques in the family playbook for dealing with internal threats to power. One is cracking down and purging internally. That is more direct. It has the problem that you need to be sufficiently strong to do it. Otherwise it may just instigate the internal threat into action. The other is showing strength against external enemies. Sometimes that is just shows of strength without direct attacks. Sometimes that involves dead South Koreans. It may be easier for a North Korean leader to implement since it focuses the attention of the internal threats on the international threat to all of them. The dangers of that level of brinksmanship should be obvious.

Kim Jong Un was in charge of one of the most serious incidents since the armistice. That is the artillery strikes on the island of Yeonpyeong. That was widely seen as an attempt to establish him with the military in preparation for his transition to power. A sister without the benefit of a planned early transition prep and lots of internal grumbling may be extra motivated to strike South Korea early and often. Hopefully we can avoid that.
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:59 PM
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Rumors keep escalating that he has either died, is brain dead, or something very similar.

Could it be actually true?

I both hope so and hope that things don't get worse.
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:21 PM
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A Chinese medical team has been sent to North Korea, reminiscent of the time when Kim Jong Il suffered a stroke back in 2008. Whether he's dead or not, it's apparently pretty damn serious.
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:23 PM
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Rumors keep escalating that he has either died, is brain dead, or something very similar.

Could it be actually true?

I both hope so and hope that things don't get worse.
I wouldn't believe rumors coming out of North Korea. Rumors coming out of China and pre-Invasion Iraq were more believable (both societies are/were more "open") and were frequently untrue.
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:30 PM
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NM

Last edited by Uniqueorn; 04-25-2020 at 01:35 PM.
  #20  
Old 04-25-2020, 03:27 PM
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Unconfirmed reports that Kim Jong Un is dead.

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Kim Jong Un is rumored to be dead, according to a Hong Kong broadcast network, while a Japanese magazine is reporting that North Korea’s rocket man is in a “vegetative state” after he underwent heart surgery earlier this month.

A vice director of HKSTV Hong Kong Satellite Television, a Beijing-backed broadcast network in Hong Kong, claimed that Kim was dead, citing a “very solid source.” Her post on the Chinese messaging app Weibo has been shared widely on social media, according to a report in the International Business Times.

Other unconfirmed reports, attributed to senior party sources in Beijing, said an operation to insert a stent went wrong because the surgeon’s hands were shaking so badly.
  #21  
Old 04-25-2020, 05:01 PM
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So can we cross the word condition out of the thread title yet?
  #22  
Old 04-25-2020, 05:10 PM
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So can we cross the word condition out of the thread title yet?
I'd say not yet. When we see that older news-lady crying like a maniac on TV while announcing his death, we'll know for sure.
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Old 04-25-2020, 05:33 PM
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I wonder if there's not a deliberate effort by intel agencies (not necessarily the US) to push to declare him dead even without confirmation. Push the story out, make North Korea respond to it.

Because NK refuses to talk, I'd say that there's a fairly high percent chance that he's in critical condition even if he's not dead yet. He could be brain dead or comatose and they might be trying to figure out how power's going to be distributed.
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:01 PM
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Poor surgeon. You know they're going to make him suffer.
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:21 PM
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Poor surgeon. You know they're going to make him suffer.
I don't know, a bullet to the head is pretty quick....

But yeah, I wouldn't be selling him any life insurance policies.

The interesting point is if (IF) he is dead, when it gets announced. Just looked it up and Stalin's death was announced the day after he died (to borrow from another ruthless dictator) and Daddy Kim Il Sung got his announced about 30 hours after he died (per Wikipedia).

Might be working out the power-sharing (or grabbing) details behind the scenes right now.

Interesting times.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:25 PM
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I think he comes back as a zombie and calls himself the Un-dead.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:39 PM
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I think he comes back as a zombie and calls himself the Un-dead.
Pretty good Bob.

Perhaps the surgeon will be declared a hero and will be the next leader. Who knows. That country is fucked up worse that the USA.
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Old 04-26-2020, 12:43 AM
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Will satellite photos detect burial trenches for the failed surgical team?
  #29  
Old 04-26-2020, 09:43 AM
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I think he comes back as a zombie and calls himself the Un-dead.
Weekend at Kim's.

[Yes I know his last name is Kim, not 1st...]
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Old 04-26-2020, 10:14 AM
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A good friend of mine is a North Korea analyst for the BBC (speaks on TV about N Korea etc and I know to be a good guy) and he's retweeted this, which seems to put everything in context:

https://twitter.com/chadocl/status/1253945322448932865


Quote:
A lot of people are asking about the increasing rumors re: KJU’s health.

Well, we are not going to report on them until something crystal clear starts to line up.

Here’s why we won’t report until then:
Quote:
Right now, there are broadly two cannons of rumor circulating:

A) KJU underwent heart surgery last week, it didn’t go well, and he’s either dead or close to death;

B) KJU underwent some kind of surgery & is recuperating well outside of Pyongyang, is in control but unavailable.
Quote:
After two days of hearing sources reference second-hand knowledge of one theory or the other, we started to realize there is a major echo chamber effect.

I.e. the two sets of rumors are all evolving variations on prior material
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There are credible people sharing info related to both theories.

What is uncertain is where it’s all originally coming from.
Quote:
And there are things which make little sense.

On the rumors emanating from Chinese social media, re: Chinese medical teams providing support...

Would NK really invite Chinese surgeons to goto Pyongyang for this kind of support?

If so, why are these rumors not being censored?
Quote:
And on indicators Kim Jong Un is recovering from something, not seriously ill, on his feet, and somewhere near Wonsan...

Is foreign intel on a subject of total secrecy in NK - KJU’s health - that good?

(Consider no outsider knew of Kim Jong Il’s death for two whole days.)
Quote:
For now there are too many varying indicators.

Not enough details line up one way or the other.

So we won’t know which of these two rumors are credible until state media reveals something.

Plus, it still remains possible both are wrong.
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Old 04-26-2020, 03:27 PM
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Rumors keep escalating that he has either died, is brain dead, or something very similar.

Could it be actually true?

I both hope so and hope that things don't get worse.
"Yay, the king is dead! The new king can't be nearly as bad! What's his name again?"

"Um, some young kid. The name is....Joffrey."

Careful what you wish for. Regime transitions in despotic countries often come with a lot of bloodshed. We can only hope it's internal bloodshed.
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Old 04-26-2020, 03:36 PM
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A good friend of mine is a North Korea analyst for the BBC (speaks on TV about N Korea etc and I know to be a good guy) and he's retweeted this, which seems to put everything in context:

...

Quote:
And there are things which make little sense.

On the rumors emanating from Chinese social media, re: Chinese medical teams providing support...

Would NK really invite Chinese surgeons to goto Pyongyang for this kind of support?

If so, why are these rumors not being censored?
...
I appreciate why the BBC won't report until there are reliable sources. But why do these things "make little sense"?

If Kim is in a coma, why wouldn't it make sense for them to seek expert medical assistance from China?

And why is it so implausible that word of a medical team being sent from China could get out through China? China is not North Korea, they aren't going to send a surgeon's spouse to labor camp if (say) they violate instructions and let word slip to a cousin in Hong Kong.

Last edited by Riemann; 04-26-2020 at 03:37 PM.
  #33  
Old 04-26-2020, 03:37 PM
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South Korea said he's alive and well. https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/26/asia/...ntl/index.html
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Old 04-26-2020, 04:12 PM
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Wait a week.
Or two.
No sign of Kimbo?
Then he's as cold as a kipper onna cracker.
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  #35  
Old 04-27-2020, 06:49 AM
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N. Korea said he wrote a letter which proves he is OK.
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Old 04-27-2020, 07:38 AM
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They wouldn't hide Kim from public just because he's dead; if he looks weak and unsteady on his feet, they'd hide him. There could be many several reasons why there's silence coming out of North Korea, but clearly, it's not 'situational normal.'
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Old 04-27-2020, 07:40 AM
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What we have now is Scrodinger's despot. Until the box opens we'll never know. Curious about the train. My guess they moved a seriously ill Kim for therapeutic reasons. Or they moved a corpse for mortuary treatment. Or they tied shaky handed doctors to the tracks before moving the train. Or they moved the successor to a secure location while any rivals are exterminated.
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Old 04-27-2020, 07:57 AM
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N. Korea said he wrote a letter which proves he is OK.
I'm reserving judgment until I learn which letter he wrote.
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Old 04-27-2020, 08:08 AM
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N. Korea said he wrote a letter which proves he is OK.
And it was a perfect letter.
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Old 04-27-2020, 08:58 AM
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I don't see what would the benefit would be to the North Koreans to hide his death, if dead he is. Surely they don't have more reverence for him than they had for his father and grandfather, and their deaths weren't hidden (at least not for long). And they'll have to put out word of who's the person in charge for foreign governments to deal with.
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Old 04-27-2020, 09:14 AM
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Unless they don't know who's in charge yet. If someone takes the initiative and declares it prematurely they'll certainly pay if they're wrong.
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Old 04-27-2020, 09:31 AM
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N. Korea said he wrote a letter which proves he is OK.
If Kim wants to prove his survival, he should either appear in person or release some videotape in which he makes references to current events that took place after his surgery (the approach that al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, used back in the day to prove his survival before he got bumped off for good.)
  #43  
Old 04-27-2020, 10:45 AM
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If Kim wants to prove his survival, he should either appear in person or release some videotape in which he makes references to current events that took place after his surgery (the approach that al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, used back in the day to prove his survival before he got bumped off for good.)
Is there some reason why he would want or need to prove he is alive?

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 04-27-2020 at 10:47 AM.
  #44  
Old 04-27-2020, 10:48 AM
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They wouldn't hide Kim from public just because he's dead
Weekend at Kim's!
  #45  
Old 04-27-2020, 10:53 AM
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Is there some reason why he would want or need to prove he is alive?
If he doesn't reveal he's still alive, other figures in the regime will begin making moves to place a new person in charge. And once those plans are put into motion, the people involved might not wish to reverse them if Kim reveals he's still alive. They might decide to go ahead with the plans and just add killing Kim as a new step in the plan.
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:04 AM
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So you think North Koreans live their lives and make their plans according to the news from the US? How does that work?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 04-27-2020 at 11:04 AM.
  #47  
Old 04-27-2020, 11:17 AM
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Unless they don't know who's in charge yet. If someone takes the initiative and declares it prematurely they'll certainly pay if they're wrong.
Which raises the possibility that this may be a trick to flush out whoever is not All In With Kim and detect leaks based on what does leak.
  #48  
Old 04-27-2020, 12:01 PM
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I tend to think he's not in good shape, but one potential explanation for his absence, even if he's not sick, is isolation at his Wonsan compound due to COVID-19 fears. If the government is trying to convince people the virus isn't in NK and everything is safe, they'd need to keep it secret that he's in isolation.
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:51 PM
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I don't know much about North Korea, but I would suspect that in a patriarchal society like that, having a woman in charge would put her in more precarious a position than a man. She would more prone to having factions whispering about having her deposed at the slightest sign of any incompetent or weak leadership. Which, in turn, could make her hyper-sensitive and prone to cracking down in all the more bloody fashion.
And look at her picture. I am more scared of her than him.
  #50  
Old 04-27-2020, 12:51 PM
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I tend to think he's not in good shape, but one potential explanation for his absence, even if he's not sick, is isolation at his Wonsan compound due to COVID-19 fears. If the government is trying to convince people the virus isn't in NK and everything is safe, they'd need to keep it secret that he's in isolation.
Speaking of Wonsan, satellite data appears to show something's going on there - his train has been there since last week:

https://www.38north.org/2020/04/wonsancompound042520/

Quote:
A train probably belonging to Kim Jong Un has been parked at the Leadership Railway Station servicing his Wonsan compound since at least April 21, according to commercial satellite imagery. The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health, but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast.
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