North Korea ruler Kim Kong-un is dead or gravely ill after a stent procedure went wrong because his doctor’s hands were shaking, according to reports, amid questions over his health.
Kim Jong-un is dead or on his death bed after a heart operation went wrong because his doctor’s hand were shaking, reports claim.
Rumours surrounding the health of the North Korean despot have been rife since he missed a celebration of the birthday of his late grandfather and the country’s founder, Kim Il-sung, on April 15.
A Japanese weekly magazine, Shukan Gendai, now reports that the leader is in a “vegetative state” after a botched stent procedure.
Kim, who is believed to be 36, has not been seen in public since April 11, when he led a Politburo meeting.
Citing a Chinese medic who is understood to have been sent to Pyongyang to treat the ruler, the magazine suggests a delay to the procedure left him in a grave condition.
But according to other reports, attributed to senior Communist party sources in Beijing, the team was dispatched after the failed heart surgery but arrived too late to save him.
One version claims that a simple procedure to insert a stent went wrong because a North Korean doctor’s hands were shaking.
It is reported that Kim was taken to hospital in early April, after he fell down and clutched his chest while on a visit to the countryside.
Speculation about his health has been fanned by his heavy smoking, apparent weight gain since taking power and family history of cardiovascular problems.
Kim came to power after his father Kim Jong Il died in 2011 from a heart attack.
However, the reports vary widely and are difficult to verify because of North Korea’s secrecy and isolation, and the way in which it treats the health of its leaders as a matter of state security.
It was revealed yesterday that China, the country’s chief ally, deployed medics to North Korea to “advise on” the ruler.
Three anonymous sources told Reuters that a team of doctors and officials left Beijing on Thursday, although the agency was unable to verify what the mission signals in terms of Kim’s health.
Seoul-based website DailyNK, run mostly by North Korean defectors, has also reported that Kim has undergone heart surgery, citing an unnamed source inside the country.
Both South Korean and Chinese officials have challenged suggestions that the ruler is gravely ill.