The “Death” of Kim Jong Un: How Did the Media Get It Wrong?

Karma Nashed, Staff Writer

With all of the chaos due to COVID-19, the world seems to have forgotten that they were convinced Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, was dead, due to a botched cardiovascular procedure. It was already known that Kim has never been in perfect health; he has suffered from the consequences of obesity and heavy smoking for years. The first story to be released about Kim’s alleged health issues was published by the South Korea-based website, Daily NK. According to an article from the New York Times, Kim “last appeared publicly on April 11.” He was nowhere to be seen at the country’s greatest holiday celebration on April 15 (the birthday of Kim Jong-Il, North Korea’s founder and Kim Jong Un’s father,) which is what sparked the concern of Kim’s health and wellbeing. According to the Washington Post, “Kim was recovering from an unspecified ‘cardiovascular procedure,’ on April 20.” Three weeks of unexplained absence led the world to believe that Kim received a botched heart surgery and that he was supposedly brain dead. Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, was rumored to take his place and follow him as North Korea’s leader. Then, CNN published an article of Kim’s supposed “death,” and this is how the news spread like wildfire all over the world.

Needless to say, Kim Jong Un is very much alive. He appeared in a state-issued photo, in which he is shown cutting the ribbon on a new fertilizer factory outside Pyongyang on April 26. He did not look the slightest bit ill or unwell. He also did not address his absence period. Although there are people who believe the photographs are fake and that Kim is still in medical danger, the people of North Korea are more concerned with something else; the fact that no one knows who will control North Korea, or its nuclear weapons, in the actual event of Kim Jong Un’s death. North Korea is known for its secrecy, and Kim’s appearance on April 26 did not provide an explanation for his three-week absence.

“I think there must be at least some truth to the rumored stories,” says freshman Emily Burles. “I’m guessing his health truly was, or still is, at risk.”

“If Kim Jong Un actually did die, I don’t think North Korea would know what to do or how to function in his absence,” says freshman Arturo Diaz. “Obviously, he’s a tyrant and he doesn’t provide fair laws over his people, but the country would be pure chaos without him.”

“If he did die, however,” continues Burles, “our country would definitely have less to worry about. North Korea has always posed the threat of starting a nuclear war, so without Kim Jong Un, obviously this wouldn’t happen.”

Kim Jong Un is known to be one of the most brutal leaders of our time, and the media will most-likely continue to attempt to get a better grip on where he is and what he is doing, dead or alive.