Even though Kim Jong Un’s two-week lack has inspired rumors and speculation that he is seriously ill, he’s not the primary member of North Korean’s ruling elite to disappear from public opinion.
Some absences were due to actual trouble, such as deaths, sickness, or purges. But the so-called disappearances have shown that the disconnect between insatiable curiosity about what is happening inside the isolated, nuclear-armed state along with the thick cloak of secrecy surrounding its leadership.
A look at previous cases of overlooking North Korean officers and if reports about the passing of leaders were early:
Before his departure in 1994, there was arguably no man South Koreans loathed and feared over North Korea’s state founder Kim Il Sung. His forces launched a surprise assault on the South in June 1950, triggering a catastrophic war that brought massive intervention from the USA and China and killed and wounded countless individuals before an armistice stopped fighting three decades after.
Also, he discharged commandos at a failed attempt to assassinate the South Korean president in 1968 and sent representatives to plant bombs that killed 21 people, including several South Korean cabinet ministers, during a presidential trip to Myanmar in 1983.
When South Korean papers reported him dead in November 1986, the general public, at least for a couple of hours, was overrun by euphoria but also dread about instability on the boundary.
The reports started circulating on Nov. 16 when the Chosun Ilbo released a brief story with its Tokyo correspondent who reported rumors in Japan which Kim Il Sung had expired. Matters took a peculiar turn another day when South Korea’s army spokesman declared that the North Koreans used loudspeakers about the mine-strewn boundary to declare he was taken to death.
Chosun published an excess variant to report that the story on Nov. 17 — a Monday when papers had not usually released — before utilizing seven pages to explain Kim Il Sung’s assassination on Nov. 18, beneath the now notorious front-page headline”Kim Il Sung shot dead.”
Other papers composed similar tales, adding to a frenzy which suddenly stopped hours later when Kim Il Sung looked alive and well in an airport in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, to greet a visiting Mongolian delegation.
Chosun, South Korea’s largest newspaper by circulation, never released a correction. However, it officially apologized within the story a month whilst marking the 100th anniversary of its founding.
The paper also apologized for more than a 2013 report which stated North Korean singer and mature ruling party member Hyon Song Wol was implemented. Hyon reappeared in people in May 2014 and is currently thought of as one of the most effective women in North Korea, leading Kim Jong Un to many global summits.
Kim Jong Il, the famously reclusive father of the present ruler, was the topic of countless rumors and reports about his death.
In 2004, a huge explosion in a North Korean railway station on its boundary with China motivated rumors of an assassination attempt because he’d passed hours before on his way back from Beijing. The crash of 2 fuel-carrying trains allegedly killed and injured tens of thousands of individuals, but a URL into the leader’s journey was not supported.
Chatter about Kim Jong Il’s departure after his 2008 stroke became so regular that it prompted South Korea’s financial regulator in 2009 to inquire whether the rumors were deliberately distributed to manipulate stock markets.
After Kim Jong Il did perish in December 2011, after decades of deteriorating health and declining public looks, the external world had no clue before the North’s state media announced it 2 weeks afterward.
The 73-year-old made her first public appearance in roughly six years in January, sitting close to her nephew in a concert.
Conflicting reports within the last week have stated Kim is “severely ill,” in a vegetative state” or even”perfectly fine” after heart operation that may or might not have occurred.
In 2014, Kim disappeared from the public eye for almost six months before reappearing with a cane. South Korea’s spy agency stated he had a cyst removed from his or her ankle.
However, months later, North Korea’s state media revealed Ri Yong Gil living and functioning at fresh senior posts.
State media have reported his involvement in regular, but non-public pursuits. They say he has sent greetings to the leaders of Syria, Cuba, and South Africa and expressed gratitude to taxpayers of merit, such as employees building tourist centers in the coastal city of Wonsan, and that’s where some speculate he’s staying.
While it’s likely that Kim could pop up everywhere, continuing a family tradition of press resurrections, some specialists say his health will become a growing factor in years beforehand, contemplating his weight loss, smoking habits, and other supposed health issues.