North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is rumored to be dead, according to a Hong Kong broadcast network after he underwent heart surgery earlier this month.
A vice director of HKSTV Hong Kong Satellite Television, a Beijing-backed broadcast network in Hong Kong, claimed that Kim was dead, citing a “very solid source.”
Her post on the Chinese messaging app Weibo has been shared widely on social media, according to a report in the International Business Times.
Other unconfirmed reports, attributed to senior party sources in Beijing, said an operation to insert a stent went wrong because the surgeon’s hands were shaking so badly.
The North Korean dictator is in a “vegetative state” after he underwent heart surgery earlier this month, a Japanese magazine says.
The weekly Shukan Gendai reported Friday 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, Reuters reported.
North Korean media hasn’t mentioned Kim’s health or whereabouts, even though reports by other media have sparked international speculation about his well-being.
The Chinese expert told the magazine that Kim clutched his chest and fell to the ground on a visit to the countryside earlier this month. A doctor accompanying Kim performed CPR and took him to a nearby hospital.
Kim, believed to be 36, needed a stent procedure, which calls for placing a tube into a congested blood vessel to allow blood to keep flowing to the heart, according to Shukan Gendai.
The hashtag #KimJongUndead was trending on Twitter but without any proof of the leader’s death.