Japan is suspicious about the real health condition of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. Taro Kono, Japan's Defense Minister, revealed Japan's concerns at a press conference on June 25, which was the 75th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.
Kim Jong-Un's health
The North Korean Supreme Leader was not seen for almost three weeks in April and there were reports that he had died or that he was seriously ill after his heart surgery.
Kim Jong-un was pictured for the first time in weeks last May 1 at a fertilizer plant in North Korea, but after that event, he disappeared again.
As reported by The Sun, Mr. Kono said that they have some suspicions about Kim Jong-Un's health. He said that there had been strange movements in North Korea, which were because Kim is trying not to get infected with the coronavirus. He added that the virus is spreading around the country despite their claims that North Korea is free of COVID-19.
Mr. Kono had not elaborated on what could be wrong with Kim and he simply said that he is not allowed to discuss any intelligence issues. He also added that Japan, the United States, and other countries have been sharing intelligence about him.
Despite the uncertainty about Kim's condition, it was suggested that the dictator may have used a body double in his first public appearance after the speculation that he had died. Kim Jong-Un was photographed at a ribbon-cutting ceremony of a newly opened fertilizer plant in Pyongyang on May 1.
On April 15, Kim did not attend the Day of the Sun celebration honoring his grandfather Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea, and his father, Kim Jong-Il. His absence was the beginning of the rumors about his health condition.
Kim Jong-Un is known for his unhealthy diet and his smoking habit. Because of this, the public suspects that his health declined.
Earlier this week, North Korea suspended its plans for more military action against South Korea. The decision was made at a meeting of North Korea's Central Military Commission, in which Kim Jong-Un is the chairman.
Kim Yo-Jong's role
Kim Jong-Un's sister, Kim Yo-Jong, was reported to have given the order to blow up a joint liaison office in South Korea, according to BBC.
Kim Yo-Jong had previously warned the South to stop sending propaganda leaflets across the Korean border. She also threatened to send 12 million leaflets from the North to the South and to deploy North Korean troops to the demilitarized zone.
Because of the incident, the media are speculating that the North Korean government is now grooming Kim Yo-Jong for leadership and is boosting her standing within the country, according to The Telegraph.
On June 25, North and South Korea separately marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War with massive commemorations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
South Korea also issued a joint statement with the United States, which fought alongside it during the 1950-53 war triggered by a surprise North Korean invasion. The United States still stations about 28,500 soldiers in South Korea, and North Korea views it as a military threat.