It is now half a month since the last public appearance of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, amid conflicting accounts of his health and while nothing unusual has been noticed in Pyongyang, according to South Korean sources.
Kim, who is believed to be 36 years old, obese, a heavy smoker and with old health problems, according to different sources, is being the subject of numerous news and multiple rumors that have even taken him for dead, with little certainty about his true condition. of health.
The North Korean dictator's last public appearance was on April 11, when he chaired a meeting of the Workers' Party political bureau, reported by North Korean propaganda the next day.
The unknown about his health is fueled by suspicions that he may have recently undergone surgery, with subsequent health complications, amid the informational darkness that prevails in the northern country.
North Korea's official KCNA agency, which is used to covering the activities of that country's leader with great care, is currently reproducing messages that it has allegedly sent or received from politicians in other countries.
State radio also said today that Kim had sent his congratulations to some workers in the city of Samijiyon this Sunday, without further details and without his voice being heard.
No photos of Kim have been released for half a month, either visiting civilian or military facilities, or supervising ballistic or artillery drills, which he usually attends to direct operations, according to official propaganda.
In fact, it was absent in the most recent test, on April 14 last, when North Korea launched several anti-ship cruise missiles into the waters of the Sea of Japan (East Sea for the two Koreas).
He was also absent on April 15 at a North Korean holiday, the Day of the Sun, when the birth of the country's founder and grandfather of the current dictator, Kim Il-sung (1912-1994) is celebrated, which continued to fuel suspicions.
It is not the first time that Kim has disappeared from public view. In 2014, he was absent from the spotlight for 40 days and reappeared limping after what South Korean intelligence services believe stemmed from an ankle operation.
The North Korean-based news portal 38 North released satellite photos taken between April 21 and 23 in the last few hours showing the train Kim usually uses parked in a camp in the town of Wonsan.
The station the train is on, according to 38 North, is not for public use, but is reserved only for the North Korean dictator.
Doubts about Kim's state of health were heightened when the US network CNN reported on April 21 that, according to unidentified sources, Kim was in "serious danger" after a surgical operation.
But two days later, South Korea's intelligence services said there was "no unusual situation" seen in the north amid conjecture about Kim's health.
That same day, US President Donald Trump called this CNN news "false."
"I think that news is incorrect ... The article that was made by a chain," Trump said without citing CNN, "was incorrect. I have been told that they used false documents."
But the conjectures have continued since then, even with unreliable means and dark sources that give it up for dead, such as a Hong Kong portal, or that it is in a "vegetative state", as a Japanese yellowing weekly claims.
The conjectures not only mention the state of health of the North Korean dictator, but extend to the possibility that in the next few hours North Korea will carry out a new ballistic test, according to the South Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo.
If carried out, it may be the occasion that Kim possibly appears to prove that he is alive and thus close the new round of contradictory versions about his state of health.