North Korean official Kim Yang-Gon, who heads a ruling party department in charge of South Korea-related affairs, made a rare visit to South Korea for the close of the Asian Games. During his visit, he made sure to mention to South Korea’s Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-Jae that “there is nothing wrong with the health of Secretary Kim.”
Kim Yang-Gon (right) is pictured here with Pyongyang’s second most powerful man, Hwang Pyong-So (left).
Reports of Kim Yang-Gon’s comment to Ryoo Kihl-Jae don’t quite seem to add up. In fact, it looks as though he may have staged his visit to South Korea in an attempt to circulate a rumor about Kim Jong-un, who is currently the subject of worldwide speculation. Kim Yang-Gon’s trips to South Korea are few and far between, and a leisurely visit to the Asian Games isn’t exactly pressing political business; especially after Pyongyang was placed under lockdown.
Speaking of the North Korean capital, why would it be in lockdown if matters were not dire? Let’s not forget that Toshimitsu Shigemura, a leading authority on North Korean affairs, issued this statement regarding the lockdown of Pyongyang:
“This sort of action suggests there has either been an attempted coup or that the authorities there have uncovered some sort of plot against the leadership. If it is a military-backed coup, then the situation in Pyongyang will be very dangerous and I have heard reports that Kim has been moved out of the capital. Another reason might be that some senior officials of the regime have attempted to defect and they are closing the escape routes, such as the airport and the border.”
Kim Jong-un has yet to surface. Do you think Kim Yang-Gon’s comment about the health of his leader holds any weight? Tell us in the comments section!
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