October 01, 2023

As health rumors mount, Kim Jong Un’s letter writing may offer signs of life

Reports of continued correspondence from the North Korean leader could suggest rumors of his early death are unfounded

As global speculation about the state of Kim Jong Un's health mounts, an otherwise-banal aspect of Pyongyang's day-to-day propaganda output has taken on a much greater significance: the letters the DPRK leader is reported to have sent to various foreign friends and praiseworthy citizens.

In the 16 days since Kim Jong Un has been reported to have appeared in public, ruling party organ the Rodong Sinmun has carried nine reports of the leader sending personal notes.