— Jonathan Cheng (@JChengWSJ) October 14, 2014
Update: 14 October 10.15am EST
It was reported that yesterday that Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance in well over a month. Supposedly Un was touring a newly built housing development and pictures showed him walking around with a cane in his hand. However, skeptics are saying that this is not proof that Un is alright or even alive, and officials are covering up the disappearance with outdated pictures. The Obama administration is still trying to determine the report’s authenticity.
Original: 07 October 9.03am EST
Rumors have suggested that Un could be dead, or there might have been a coup with military officials. However, most spectators say that the leader is just sick. Video footage of Un prior to his disappearance shows him with a slight limp and sweating. Also, the leader has gained a substantial amount of weight.
Un’s father and grandfather both suffered from gout, a form of arthritis that causes severe joint pain. Gout is genetic and can be caused by a rich diet and sedentary lifestyle, which might explain the weight gain and the limp (one of the primary areas that gout affects is the big toe.)
In North Korea, propaganda supporting the supreme leader compares him to God. Tall tales and myths are circulated to help deify the Kim dynasty. For example, it’s said that Un’s father, Kim Jong il, shot 11 hole-in-ones while playing a round of golf –it was the first time that he’d ever played golf, by the way.
Hiding Un from the public would make sense if he was under the weather, because someone who is “godly” should be less susceptible to illness. It’s been a month since we’ve seen Un, and gout can take several weeks to recover, so we could be seeing Un back in the public spotlight at any time.
The Supreme Leader of North Korea has not made a public appearance in over a month now. Find out if he was toppled or involved in a coup!