April 01, 2023

Rumors explained: Is Kim Jong Un really in a coma? Will Kim Yo Jong take over?

Rumors surface yet again that Kim Jong Un is gravely ill and Kim Yo Jong assumed power — but most of it is likely false

Just when it seemed the rumor mill over North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health had stopped churning, a new set of claims appeared in various news outlets over the past week. The latest claims are that Kim Jong Un is in a coma and that he has partly transferred power to his sister, Kim Yo Jong.

The new round of reporting started on Aug. 20, with news that the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) believed Kim had recently delegated authority to Kim Yo Jong and other top officials. But the source of that information was not revealed, and details were lost along the way in some media outlets' coverage.