Kim Jong-un faked death to expose traitors in inner circle, says expert: 'He will now go on a purging spree'
'He decided to lay low and see how things broke power-wise, and see who tried to take power in the event of his actual demise'
After the reemergence of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, following an extended period of missing in action from public life, experts are claiming that it was part of a carefully planned ploy by the dictator to fish out the traitors in his country, who would try to seize power in his absence.
The North Korea supremo shut down rumors of him being gravely ill or dead following botched heart surgery last month by appearing at a fertilizer plant on May 1, alongside his sister Kim Yo-jong, who was being pegged as his successor in numerous reports speculating about Kim's death.
When he failed to make an appearance for the country's most important holiday which honors the founder of the nation, Kim II-sung, on April 15, rumors started going around about Kim's worsening health conditions. He also ended up missing the 88th anniversary of the armed forces, the Korean People's Revolutionary Army, on April 25. Meanwhile, the hashtag 'KimJongUnDead' started trending on Twitter without any proof of the leader passing away.
Sky News' 'Outsiders' host James Morrow said that Kim might have pulled a "classic Stalinist maneuver" through his vanishing act to gauge people's response and find out who among his inner circle secretly wished to usurp him. And now that he is back in the limelight, it is wholly possible that he ends up going on a "purging" spree based on the intel that he had collected.
"What probably went here is that the rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated," Morrow said. "He decided to do this, lay low, and see how things broke power-wise, and see who tried to take power in the event of his actual demise. I suspect we will see some purges in North Korea pretty soon."
Meanwhile, after a video showed the North Korean leader with a needle mark on his wrist, which appeared to confirm the fact that he had gone through some sort of a “cardiovascular procedure," a senior South Korean government official told reporters that the presidential office does not believe Kim underwent an operation, the Sun reported.
Hinting that Seoul knew the surgery reports were untrue, the unnamed senior official said: "Chairman Kim is not believed to have received surgery."
At the same time, some of the high profile North Korean defectors issued apologies for previously speculating that Kim was suffering from a grave illness or could be dead. One of them is Thae Yong-ho, who was once North Korea's deputy ambassador to Britain and was tasked with managing secret funds for the despot.
He had fled to South Korea in 2016 and was among the pair of defectors elected to parliament last month.
"I am aware that one of the reasons why many of you voted for me as a lawmaker is the expectation of an accurate analysis and projections on North Korean issues," he said in his apology. "I feel the blame and heavy responsibility. Whatever the reasons [for his disappearance], I apologize to everyone."
Another defector, Ji Seong-ho, had said in a media interview he was 99 percent certain that Kim was no more and that the announcement of his passing away will be made by North Korea soon. "I have pondered on it for the past few days, and felt the weight of the position that I'm in," he said. "As a public figure, I will behave more carefully."