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Where is Kim Jong-un? Show more Show less
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In April 2020 the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public for over two weeks and his whereabouts remain a mystery. While nothing has come out of the famously secretive state to suggest he is anything but well, others claim he is fighting for his life, or even dead.

Kim Jong-un is on holiday Show more Show less

The leader is taking a well-earned break from political duties.
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Kim Jong Un is on holiday in Wonsan

Kim Jong-Un has holed up in his private resort for unknown reasons.

Context

Since April of 2020, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been conspicuously absent from several public events, and has only been seen in public on several occasions. Knowing where he is and why he's been so hidden is crucial for world security since he's such a figure in global politics. An unexpected change of power in North Korea could be disastrous, so figuring out what's up with him is imperative.

The Argument

People are speculating that Kim-Jong Un is on holiday in his Wonsan resort because he was planning a sojourn there right before the first major event he missed in April. (He apparently was not feeling well – hence the absence [1].) He may still be at his resort to rest or regain his health. That would explain why has been making so few public appearances as of July 2020. Some argue that he’s holed up in his resort to protect himself from COVID-19 [2]. Evidence for this theory can be found in satellite images that show Kim Jong-Un’s private train outside the Wonsan resort in April – presumably meaning he was there. The satellite images in question were taken soon after his first conspicuous absence, which forces one to attribute a great deal to coincidence if one doesn’t just accept that he was in Wonsan at the time [3]. Until he returns to his typical level of contact with the public in Pyongyang, it is safe to assume that he is still at his resort. (No evidence has come to light that he isn’t.) Unlike the wild stories concocted by East Asian tabloids, Kim Jong-Un being in Wonsan is quite plausible.

Counter arguments

The mere presence of his train at the Wonsan resort in April does not mean he was there, or that he still is today. Kim Jong-Un has been absent from most public events since April, yet his train was only seen there once – in April. How would he have been getting from Pyongyang back to Wonsan between April and July? (He made several sporadic appearances during this period.) His train would have had to be seen in Wonsan again when it returned from Pyongyang, yet it never was. It’s most likely that Kim Jong-Un visited Wonsan in April, but has been absent from the public eye since then for other reasons.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.dailynk.com/english/what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-about-kim-jong-uns-absence/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4ngH2lSmNA
  3. https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/N-Korea-at-crossroads/Kim-Jong-Un-s-train-spotted-again-in-Wonsan

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 6 Oct 2020 at 09:41 UTC