Ailing North Korean leader and Uncle Sam's power games
It has been reported that the United States is monitoring intelligence that suggests North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, is in grave danger after...
It has been reported that the United States is monitoring intelligence that suggests North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, is in grave danger after undergoing a previous surgery. Why was this speculation there in the first place? Because, Kim recently missed the celebration of his grandfather's birthday on April 15, which raised speculation about his well-being.
His absence from the country's most important political holiday was highly unusual. Judging from State media coverage, Kim made no public appearances during the Day of the Sun holiday, which marks the birth anniversary of Kim's grandfather, the country's late founding leader, Kim Il Sung. Kim had been seen four days before that at a government meeting. Reports also suggest that Kim might have received a cardiovascular system procedure on April 12 because of his excessive smoking, obesity, and overwork. South Korea said that the country's top leaders are very much aware of reports about Kim's health status but cannot independently verify details published. The US officials have been reaching out to North Korean experts - particularly those who have studied the Kim regime - to talk about contingency planning. No doubt, it is of paramount importance to the US that it monitors the reports very closely. In case something goes wrong with Kim, the US cannot be left behind in planning North Korea's future. It certainly does not want the Chinese to pull out a surprise and install its own puppet once again.
The sequence was something like this. On April 12, North Korean State media reported that Kim Jong Un had visited an airbase and observed drills by fighter jets and attack aircraft. Two days later, North Korea launched multiple short-range anti-ship cruise missiles into the sea and Sukhoi jets fired air-to-surface missiles as part of military exercises. The missile launches were part of the celebrations for Kim's grandfather, Seoul officials said, but there was no North Korea State media report on his attendance or the tests. Now, this is unusual.
There is no way that Kim attends it and yet, it is kept away from the eyes of the world. Kim would certainly not allow it. More than any, he needs his publicity. By all means, North Korea is a strange country. Its only major ally in the world is China. That is why China refused to acknowledge that something is wrong with Kim. Chinese officials told world media that they did not believe that he was critically ill or so. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing was aware of reports about the health of Kim, but said it does not know their source, Japan's top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, declined to comment on the reports of Kim's health. Anyway, if something is wrong, China would be the first country to know it. A reasonable inference is that Kim did fall into bad health, but to say he is now 'gravely ill' could be far-fetched. It is perhaps, wishful thinking on part of the US that Kim is seriously ill. Such is the power game. Even a pandemic like corona does not prevent one from resorting to such games.