Is Kim Jong Un Dead? Trump Knows How He's Doing, But 'Can’t Talk About It'

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U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un hold a signing ceremony at the conclusion of their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore June 12, 2018. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Speculation is rising North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is dead. Some theories also claim Kim is in a vegetative state. This, following reports of either a bungled heart surgery or after he was shredded by shrapnel from a cruise missile that exploded while being tested.

No one knows for sure how Kim is, but the continuing silence from North Korea about the leader's no-show since April 12 is fueling rumors he isn't being seen because he's dead. A statement from the South Korean government Monday Kim is "alive and well" and is probably vacationing at one of his luxury mansions in the city of Wonsan is being dismissed by other Kim watchers such as Gordon Chang as inaccurate.

President Donald Trump, who on Oct. 1, 2018 told a bemused world he and Kim “fell in love” during the failed negotiations to denuclearize North Korea, now says he believes Kim to be alive, as well.

On Monday, after his White House news conference along with corporate CEOs, Trump digressed into the mystery surrounding the missing North Korean leader. He hinted the world will hear additional details “in the not too distant future" about the real state of affairs surrounding his friend. Trump, however, refused to reveal more details.

“Yes, I do have a very good idea,” said Trump when asked if he had any information on Kim’s health. “I can’t talk about it now,” Trump went on to say.

“I hope he’s fine, I do know how he’s doing ... you’ll probably be hearing in the not too distant future," according to Trump.

This straightforward statement seems to indicate Trump believes Kim to be alive. Trump's latest teasing continues his statements from last week when he said media reports claiming Kim was in grave condition were inaccurate and possibly based on “old documents.”

“I’ve had a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” Trump added.

The newest wrinkle to the Kim-is-missing conundrum was revealed Monday by a defector from North Korea who once worked as a high ranking official for the Korea Worker's Party. Lee Jeong Ho claims he has intel Kim was badly wounded when a short-range cruise missile being tested exploded shortly after launch. He claims the accident occurred on April 14 as Kim was witnessing the test at a military camp.

“Kim was absent from the reports of the tests while no footage of the missile launch and the training of combat aircrafts was released, which points to a possibility of an unexpected accident that might have been caused by debris or fire," wrote Lee in a story published by the South Korean newspaper Dong-a Ilbo.

Lee contends the failure by North Korea's official media to broadcast the missile test means Kim might have been badly injured. He also rejected rumors of Kim being brain dead after a failed heart surgery.

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