Kim Jong-un deliberately faked his own death to expose traitors in his circle and who had hopes of taking power from the leader’s “death”, an expert speaking with Sky News Australia said.
Over the past week stories circulated that Kim had died following heart surgery or that he was gravely unwell. Those rumours were squashed after the leader was seen at an event last weekend, as he attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the inauguration of a fertiliser plant.
Sky Outsiders host James Morrow told Australian viewers that Kim Jong may have been pulling a “classic Stalinist manoeuvre” to see what the public’s response was.
It is now possible that the leader will use the responses from his long period of absence to begin “purging” those he believes colluded to take over.
Mr Morrow said: “What has probably gone on here that the rumours of his demise were greatly exaggerated.
“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.”
The leader’s reappearance into the spotlight has ruined the credibility of high profile defectors who had suggested Kim Jong was suffering from a light threatening illness or had died.