As we pointed out Thursday, no one outside of North Korea really knows for sure what happened to notorious dictator Kim Jong Un.
But there is one theory that seems to be more credible than the rest — that Kim is suffering from health problems and is recuperating (or deteriorating) away from public view.
Kim has not made a public appearance in more than a month, leading people to speculate that the dictator’s regime is about to fall, that he is no longer in control of the country, or that he fell ill and is now hiding away.
Considering the fact that people have been predicting the downfall of North Korea for decades, this scenario doesn’t seem as likely. Political observers have said there’s little risk of a coup in the Hermit Kingdom, and reports that Kim has lost control of the country are so far unconfirmed.
This leaves the more likely scenario of Kim undergoing a surgery or recovering from some sort of illness.
Some of the more outlandish health theories include a Swiss cheese addiction and ankle fractures due to excessive weight, but it’s also possible that he’s suffering from a less sensational affliction.
South Korean public broadcasting network KBS reported that Kim might have gout and diabetes brought on by weight gain and an unhealthy diet.
The speculation that he’s suffering from ankle fractures started after he was seen limping across a stage at the anniversary memorial service of his grandfather and the nation’s founding president, Kim Il Sung.
If the ankle theory proves correct and Kim had to undergo surgery, it’s possible that Kim is recovering privately in a hospital.
Another explanation for the limp is that Kim hurt his leg while overseeing military exercises, according to a source with access to North Korea’s leadership who spoke to Reuters.
The Kim family has a history of gout, diabetes, and heart problems, according to CBS News.
North Korean state TV has alluded to an illness, saying “Kim is suffering from uncomfortable physical condition,” but has not elaborated on what is ailing him.
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