Kim Jong-un conspiracy: North Korean leader ‘uses body double’ after death rumours

The North Korean leader’s disappearance prompted intense speculation about his health and even claims he had died. He remerged on Saturday with state media publishing photos and videos of him cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony of a fertiliser plant.

But some people have claimed it is not Mr Kim in the images and that he is using a body double.

They have insisted the North Korean leader’s features including his nose, ears and hair are not the same.

Human rights activist Jennifer Zeng first pointed out differences, tweeting: “Is the Kim Jong-un appearing on May 1 the real one?”

Commenting on her post, one Twitter user said: “The teeth are completely different.”

Another wrote: “They are defiantly not the same person. Teeth, hairline, hair, lips and ears. Close but not identical.”

And former Conservative MP Louise Mensch shared pictures on Twitter and said: “Teeth, Cupid’s bow, others. Totally different. Look at those gnashes, if you must.”

But there have been suggestions that some of the photos have been doctored to look different.

It comes after reports that the North Korean had undergone heart surgery and was in a vegetative state or dead after he was not seen for three weeks.

Former senior North Korean diplomat Thae Yong-ho claimed that Mr Kim was suffering from a serious illness or dead.

Another defector Ji Seong-ho said he was certain the North Korean leader had died after heart surgery and an official announcement was imminent.

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Daily NK, a Seoul-based news outlet with sources inside North Korea, reported in April that Mr Kim was recovering from a cardiovascular procedure.

Speculation about the North Korean leader’s health began after he missed the birth anniversary celebrations of his grandfather Kim Il-sung on April 15.

But South Korea’s intelligence agency has blamed his disappearance on the coronavirus pandemic.

The secretive state has claimed to have no cases of the virus which has spread around the world after breaking out in China.

But Seoul’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) said at a parliamentary committee on Wednesday the outbreak could have reached North Korea.

Committee member Kim Byung-kee said: “It cannot be ruled out that there is an outbreak in North Korea.

“Kim Jong-un had focused on consolidating internal affairs such as military forces and party-state meetings, and coronavirus concerns have further limited his public activity.”

The North Korean leader has made just 17 appearances so far this year compared to an average of 50 in previous years.

But he is said to have been carrying out his other duties while he was not seen in public.

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