Kim Jong-un had disappeared for 40 days in 2014 as well, a habit he got from his parents who often 'vanished'

Kim's father used to stay away for long periods of time and even his officers didn't know where he was

                            Kim Jong-un had disappeared for 40 days in 2014 as well, a habit he got from his parents who often 'vanished'
(Getty Images)

North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un's disappearance from the public eye has raised varied speculations, as multiple reports emerge claiming that the Pyongyang leader is dead. There are, however, contrary reports stating that the North Korean dictator left for a resort in his private train last week.

Although these reports are not officially confirmed, Kim's vanishing act, however, has sketched out a pattern of his mysterious disappearances, which appears to run in the dictator's family, and it's often linked to ill-health.

Kim Jong-il

Years before Kim's suspicious disappearances began, the dictator's predecessor, his father Kim Jong-il, had already paved way for a similar sporadic retreat from the public view.

Kim Jong-il reportedly also had a tendency to disappear for weeks without a word to the officials of his regime. It is reported that in 2007, he returned after an unexplained prolonged absence, looking thinner around his waist, with significantly less hair, leading to rumors that he had suffered a heart attack. The former North Korean leader reportedly disappeared for a considerable time in the year 2008, again sparking speculations, this time, of a stroke.

The former dictator's death was announced by North Korean state television news, stating that he died on December 17, 2011, of a massive heart attack. \

People walk beneath huge pictures of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il displayed from the Parade Reviewing Stand in Kim Il-sung Square, on August 23, 2018 in Pyongyang, North Korea (Getty Images)

Ko Yong-hui

Kim's mother, Ko Yong-hui, widely known in North Korea as 'The Mother of Pyongyang,' also disappeared in the year 2004. There were reports from multiple sources close to the regime, stating that she had died in Paris from an unspecified illness, possibly breast cancer, on August 25, 2004. However, other reports later emerged that she underwent treatment for an illness in Paris in 2004, however, she flew back to Pyongyang, where she went into a coma.

Her death was never officially announced.

It was only in 2012 that Ko's death was made public after Kim built a grave for his mother on Mount Taesong. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves as he prepares to leave Vietnam by train after a two-day official visit preceded by the DPRK-USA Hanoi summit, on March 2, 2019 in Dong Dang, Vietnam (Getty Images)

Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un's first disappearance was noted in September 2014. There was no news of the dictator after his appearance at a concert in Pyongyang on September 3, 2014. Kim was absent from public view for nearly 40 days, and did not make a reappearance in official media until October 14 that year.

The world media followed a similar trajectory after his curious absence, triggering an interest in his whereabouts, health, and political standing. There were speculations that he was suffering from multiple medical conditions, including, diabetes, gout, and ankle issues as he began gaining weight, similar to his father and grandfather. When Kim reemerged, he was seen walking with a cane and a limp.

The latest reports of Kim's ill health or possible death emerged after a South Korean outlet, Daily NK, claimed that Kim had undergone a cardiovascular system procedure in North Pyongyang on April 12 because of "excessive smoking, obesity and overworking". US media, a week later, reportedly received a tip from an intelligence official that the dictator was indeed in a critical condition.

Kim's health came under scrutiny after he gave a miss to an annual visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun for the 108th birthday of his late grandfather, state founder Kim Il-sung, last week, on April 15.

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