North Korea’s silence on leader’s health raises questions

State media says Kim sent a message to Syria's president but didn't report other activities. Line of succession isn't clear.


World News

April 22, 2020 - 9:53 AM

On June 12, 2018, in Singapore, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands after signing an agreement at the Capella Hotel. ZUMA PRESS/MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS SINGAPORE/TNS

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — With North Korea saying nothing so far about outside media reports that leader Kim Jong Un may be unwell, there’s renewed worry about who’s next in line to run a nuclear-armed country that’s been ruled by the same family for seven decades.

Questions about Kim’s health flared after he skipped an April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of his grandfather, North Korea founder Kim Il Sung. It’s North Korea’s most important event, and Kim, 36, hadn’t missed it since inheriting power from his father in late 2011.

North Korea’s state media today said Kim sent a message thanking Syria’s president for conveying greetings on his grandfather’s birthday, but didn’t report any other activities, while rival South Korea repeated that no unusual developments had been detected in the North.

April 27, 2020
April 21, 2020
April 18, 2019
May 28, 2018