Tags: Coronavirus | japan | north korea | kim jong-un

Japanese Official Thinks Kim Jong Un in Poor Health

 North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is shown
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un 

By    |   Friday, 26 June 2020 11:45 AM

Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kano attributes North Korea's recent threats to the U.S. and South Korea to the spread of the coronavirus, the leader’s poor health and economic fallout.

During a Thursday briefing at the Japanese Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo, Kono discussed North Korea’s “strange” actions, South Korea’s NK News reports.

On Thursday, Pyongyang claimed that in the face of “hostile policy” by the U.S, it would be forced to respond “nuclear with nuclear," the newspaper reports. The announcement occurred on the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. Tension between North and South Korea also has been ongoing in recent days.  

Citing Japanese intelligence reports, Kono said he believes the threats may done as a way to “take away the attention of North Korean people away from Kim Jong Un’s health, or the bad harvest or the bad economy.”

“We suspect, No. 1, that COVID-19 is spreading around North Korea as well, and Kim Jong Un is trying to … not [be] infected by COVID-19,” he said. “So sometimes he doesn’t come [out] in public.”

He added, “No. 2, we have some suspicion about his health. Thirdly, the harvest last year in North Korea wasn’t quite good — bad, actually … The economy in North Korea is not doing well.”

Kono would not address questions about Kim’s health claiming he was not “allowed to discuss intelligence issues, including if it is [an] intelligence issue or not,” the newspaper reports.

Rumors about Kim’s health have been widely circulated since he missed a celebration dedicated to honoring his grandfather in April. He has made a few public appearances since then.

The defense official said he agrees with the U.S. opinion that coronavirus is spreading throughout North Korea.

“We just need to estimate how widely it is spreading,” he said.

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Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kano attributes North Korea's recent threats to the U.S. and South Korea to the spread of the coronavirus, the leader’s poor health and economic fallout.
japan, north korea, kim jong-un
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2020-45-26
Friday, 26 June 2020 11:45 AM
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