NORTH KOREA’s leader Kim Jong-un IS dead, and it is just a matter of time before sister Kim Yo-jong is confirmed as his successor, an expert has suggested in the wake of reports the Supreme Leader is in a coma.
But Roy Calley, a journalist who has travelled extensively in the Hermit State, says such are the levels of secrecy there that not even those living in North Korea will realise what is going on. Mr Calley was speaking after Chang Song-min, a former aide to South Korea’s late President Kim Dae-Jung, said he believed the 36-year-old, who has been in power since 2011, was in a coma.
His claim is the latest with respect to Kim’s health, with widespread rumours of his death surfacing in April when he was not seen in public for a fortnight.
Since then footage has emerged purportedly showing him attending official engagements.
However, Mr Calley, who chronicles his time spent in North Korea during the course of his book, Look With Your Eyes and Tell the World, has always been sceptical, pointing out it was impossible to say with any degree of certainty when they were filmed.
He told Express.co.uk: “I honestly believe he’s dead but you just can’t tell with that country.
“I could be in Pyongyang now and be none the wiser.”
North Korea’s vague statements on Kim Jong-un point towards some major changes being made to operations, Mr Calley said.
With reference to persistent reports speculating about Kim’s health, coupled with suggestions his 32-year-old sister was now regarded as his de-facto successor, Mr Calley said: “The fact that there is so much information /misinformation being released suggests there is something happening.
“With everything else, the government is very specific with their statements but never when it comes to the leaders.”
He explained: “It was months before the population heard officially that the Dear Leader [Kim Jong-il, Kim’s father] had died and I’m guessing this is what is happening now.
“It will only be clarified and confirmed when his sister takes complete control as far as I see it.”