Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
The major segment of the international media is possibly competing in publishing speculative stories centering the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Let us not forget, those rumors online are being circulated by unreliable sources, and then being recirculated by more reliable sources. It seems to me that some rogue news media in the world even are showing signs of insanity by publishing fake images of Kim Jong Un’s body in a casket. As to the Reuters reports, where it mentioned a Chinese medical team’s visit to Pyongyang again is not in relation to any major health concern pertaining to the supreme commander of North Korea. There is no sign of any unusual move either in Pyongyang or in Beijing, meaning the rumor about the health condition of the North Korean leader is fake.
Secondly, should there be minimum credence to the rumor, South Korean Blue House would have certainly been aware of it. We also need to remember, the US intelligence community, the US military, and their counterpart services in South Korean have no credible information about Kim Jong Un’s death or serious illness. That is definitely significant as the United States has a very robust and wide-ranging intelligence effort to monitor the North Korean leader’s situation and those of his inner circle at all times.
Now the question is, why the North Korean authorities or its official news agency, for example, the Korean Central News Agency are totally silent on this matter? In my personal opinion, Kim Jong Un really does not care about such rumors and speculations at all. He is a leader who has learnt from his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, and father Kim Jong Il, the qualities of running the country under extreme adversities of numerous sanctions imposed by the international community. But nothing could actually stop Pyongyang from making progress in its domestic economy as well as technological and production sectors. What most of the anti-North Korea media may not know is – Kim Jong Un is not any individual who would feel worried or scared at even rumor-storms centering his health or anything else. He and his country has facing such odds in the past. Rather is not impossible that the North Korean leader is laughing at Twitter explosions and media madness with speculations about his health. Let us remember, Kim Jong Un pays close personal attention to online news and speculation.
There is another prospect of North Korean media’s silence. Most possible, Kim Jong Un is trying to gauge how much the American and South Korean intelligence knows about his situation. In other words, Kim Jong Un would be using rumors over his own health as bait to assess how good the American
intelligence is at monitoring his activities.
The stories centering on illness of the North Korean leader or his death are fake. This much I can say with all my experience being the media specialist of the North Korean embassy in Bangladesh for over two decades.
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-jihadist journalist, counter-terrorism specialist and editor of Blitz