On May 15, NK news reported that massive portraits of Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, and his father, Kim Jong Il, were removed from the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital.
Since the massive portraits were removed without any warning nor ceremonies, it has sparked another round of rumors over the real condition of Kim Jong Un.
Is Kim Jong Un dead?
A journalist from Daily Express, Roy Calley, said that aside from removing the portraits, a statue of Kim Jong Il has been secretly dismantled. Calley added that the square was renovated in 2012 right after the death of Kim Jong Il. He said that it is very interesting that the portraits were removed without any announcement.
Calley told Express.co.uk: “The last time that happened was when the place was being renovated following the death of the Dear Leader. The fact that portraits have been removed is very interesting. Kim Jong-un can’t have any statues or portraits unless he’s dead.”
In North Korea, leaders can’t have any statues or portraits made in their likeness until their passing. NK News added fuel to the fire after they showed satellite images of the viewing platform in the square.
The platform is used by senior officials to watch military parades in North Korea, and the image showed that it has been demolished. The west side of the square has been closed so no vehicle could enter.
Kim Jong Un’s health
Back in April, rumors spread around the world that Kim Jong Un had died after botched heart surgery. However, the rumors were immediately crushed after a video was released on May 2, showing Kim in Pyongyang, leading the opening of a fertilizer factory.
The rumors about his health started when the 36-year-old leader was absent from the birthday celebration of Kim Il Sung, his grandfather, and founder of North Korea, on April 15. It puzzled a lot of people because he has never missed a massive holiday in the nation before.
After missing the ceremony, he was not seen for three weeks, and political analysts said that the footage of him that was released on May 2 was not recent and it was only done to stop the rumors that he is dead.
However, Calley said that even though there were speculations surrounding the footage, there was no way of proving that it was not recent. He added that he also found everything suspicious. The fertilizer factory is just another factory found in Pyongyang, and he found it odd that they released the picture to the public.
Every day, there is a picture of Kim released to the media that shows him attending events and opening businesses. However, Kim has not been seen for two weeks and has not released any interviews as well.
This led to speculations that all of the pictures and videos released were old and that Kim was already dead. According to political experts, if the Supreme Leader is dead, his sister, Kim Yo Jong, could be the next leader of North Korea.
On May 15, there were reports that Kim Jong Un fired his head of security and the head of North Korea’s military intelligence agency. There were media reports that stated that Kim had also fired the commander of the Supreme Guard, who was in charge of Kim’s personal safety since 2010.