A report has emerged that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un fell into a vegetative state after receiving heart surgery.
The report, which was from the Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai, further compounds the mystery of where the nation’s leader has been since April 11. A member of the Chinese team of experts dispatched to North Korea allegedly told the magazine about Kim’s condition.
According to Reuters, the weekly Shukan Gendai reported that a Chinese medic sent to North Korea as part of a team to treat Kim believed a delay in a simple procedure left the leader severely ill:
China has dispatched a team to North Korea including medical experts to advise on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with the situation.
The expert, who was not named, claimed that earlier this month, Kim grabbed his chest and collapsed to the ground. He was rushed to a hospital after receiving CPR and later underwent surgery. China was reportedly called after the incident, prompting the delegation of experts to visit the country.
It was reported Friday that the delegation was being led by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department. The team, which also included several doctors, left for North Korea on Thursday.
On Monday, the Daily NK, a South Korean-based website, reported that Kim was recovering from a “cardiovascular surgical procedure.” CNN also reported late Monday night that the U.S. intelligence community isinvestigating reports that he was in “grave danger” after the surgery.
Kim was absent from the public on Friday while the country’s state-run media celebrated the 88th anniversary of the country’s armed forces. South Korean officials have said there is no evidence that Kim is unwell, although intelligence services in both South Korea and the United States have said they are