Kim Jong-un’s rumors sparked panic buying in North Korea

North Koreans are reportedly panic-buying in response to reports of leader Kim Jong-un’s death.

Residents in the ‘hermit kingdom’ are said to fear a power vacuum emerging in the event of the tyrant’s death.

Shelves have been stripped of essentials in the capital Pyongyang, with luxuries such as alcohol and electronics also in short supply.

Imported items were the first to disappear from the shops, according to reports.

The reported panic buying followed speculation that Kim had died after undergoing heart surgery.

He has not been seen in state media reports since April 11, the day before he reportedly had the operation.

Some reports state he was left in a vegetative state after the surgery, while others said he had passed away.

North Koreans are said to be worried that there will be a civil war or unrest if the leader dies, Mail Online reports.

However, yesterday the dictator sent a special thank you message to builders who have been working on a tourism project in a seaside resort, according to state media.

Moon Chung-in, the leading policy adviser to South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, also said he believes Kim is alive.