Fox, Reuters and The New York Post are among the major media outlets to report that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is currently in a vegetative state.
Reuters reported earlier today that Beijing has sent a group of Chinese medical experts to Pyongyang to consult with his doctors. “According to the agency citing three sources with knowledge on the matter, the team took off to the hermit state on Thursday.”
Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai reports that earlier in April, Kim was visiting a rural area when he clutched his chest and collapsed suddenly. Fox has not been able to confirm this report.
Citing a member of a Chinese medical team in North Korea, the outlet says the North Korean leader was rushed to a nearby hospital, with help from Beijing called it at once.
Jong Un reportedly required a stent procedure — a surgery that involves a tube placed into a congested blood vessel to ensure the blood circulation can continue.
While the procedure in question is not too complex, the magazine’s source said, the surgeon was not used to dealing with patients with obesity and was too nervous during the operation, resulting in a delay which left Kim Jong Un in a “vegetative state.”
On Monday, CNN reported that U.S. Intelligence officials were monitoring reports that Kim was “gravely ill” following a cardiovascular surgery. Their source was a U.S. intelligence official with “direct knowledge.” CNN had spoken with a second US official who had said the “concerns were credible but the severity is hard to assess.”
Following CNN’s report, President Trump was asked at a White House briefing if Kim had succession plans in place. The President affirmed that he did, but declined to discuss them.