According to the North’s state news agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was reportedly spotted at a fertilizer plant in the city of Sunchon on Friday. However, instead of confirming he is healthy and doing well after an April 12th botched heart valve surgery, photos of the event are fueling new rumors that the leader and possibly his sister have been replaced with imposters.
Saturday Jennifer Zeng, of Inconvenient Truths tweeted, “Is the Kim Jong-un appearing on May 1 the real one? 4 things to watch: 1. Teeth 2. Ears 3. Hair 4. Sister 金正恩露面被疑替身 網友提出4個理由. 1. 牙齒明顯不同 2 耳朵形狀不同 3 神情和頭髮 4 妹妹年輕了十歲”
A subsequent tweet shows photos released to the public reportedly of Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong at Friday’s event in Sunchon compared with previously known images of the leader’s sibling.
Some asked if Zeng was suggesting the leader and his sister had been cloned, while others speculated they’d been replaced with body doubles to quiet rumors that Kim Jong-un had already passed away.
“Are you honestly suggesting a clone?,” asks Twitter user @MattEgelkraut.
Twitter user @SongMun67 replied, “This would be nothing special. Most of dictators had them. Stalin, Saddam Hussein and many more…”
Another Twitter user @CredibilityStr1 weighed in on the photos: “They both look like dupes! An operation is still in progress!”
Rumors have been swirling for weeks after unconfirmed reports of Kim Jong-un being gravely ill and possibly dead raised suspicions across the globe.
NBC’s Katy Tur first reported the leader as having slipped into a coma on April 20th, 2020, citing “one US current and one former US official” as her two unnamed sources.
Tur quickly deleted the tweet and apologized for jumping the gun, but not before being picked up by several other outlets who parroted Tur’s announcement adding that Kim Jong-un was in a “vegetative state” post heart surgery.
TMZ reported the North Korean leader as DEAD April 25th, 2020 before quickly stating their reports were “unconfirmed”. Clickbait much?
Up until Friday’s event, the last time Kim Jong-un had made a public appearance was on April 11th.
Speculations began to grow after Kim was a no-show for the April 15th celebration of his grandfather (and founder of the country) Kim Il-sung’s birthday – the largest celebration in the country.
After dodging questions about the North Korean dictator’s health from the media for weeks, President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that he was glad to see Kim Jong-un doing better after his surgery. “I, for one, am glad to see he is back, and well!”
Doctored photos? Clones? Body doubles? The real deal? You decide.
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