North Korea leader Kim Jong-un probably isn’t seriously ill

By May 1, 2020

North Korea (MNN) — No reliable source in North Korea has indicated that the country’s leader is sick.

Pastor Eric Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea (a sister ministry to Voice of the Martyrs Canada) says, “It’s important to understand that not a single credible source has given an indication of what is happening inside North Korea. And in terms of Kim Jong-un’s health, the health of the Kim family, their physical location,  and the details of their lives are the most carefully guarded secrets in North Korea.”

This information, Foley says, will not appear on a social media news feed, or even on one of the top US media sites.

The wrong focus

“Unfortunately,” Foley says, “It makes North Korea incredibly happy that we spend the time to click on those links and read those rumors. North Korea believes that everyone around the world should focus 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the health and wellbeing of their leader.”

North Koreans paying respect to statues of past leaders. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Many news outlets have reported that Kim is sick or dying. But Foley says while many of these outlets have sources in North Korea, it is unlikely that these sources have access to that kind of information. Most can’t even move freely around the country. He says, “When we look at the deaths of the previous two North Korean leaders, no media predicted those deaths. No governments predicted those deaths. In fact, they came as surprises out of nowhere.”

Foley says, “Speculation into the health of the leaders is a fool’s errand. It ends up using a lot of time and resources that are always much better spent on knowledgeable prayer for North Korean Christians and for the people of North Korea.” Read more about North Korea here.

The Church in North Korea

Foley understands the hope that Kim’s removal might make things easier for Christians in North Korea, but he says that wouldn’t be the case. The North Korean government consists of more than its immediate leader. That’s why North Korean Christians don’t spending their time thinking about his health.

Foley says, “We really need to ask ourselves, what do we believe to be the source of hope? We believe the source of hope not to be a change in the regime, but instead a change in the human heart.”

A satellite image contrasts South Korea at night with North Korea. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The really exciting news coming out of North Korea has nothing to do with Kim’s health. Foley says, “Christians are using this very difficult time of the coronavirus to share the Gospel. That is verified news from inside of North Korea.”

North Korean Christians have so much more freedom during a lockdown. Foley explains. “North Koreans work 14 or 15 hours a day. [They are] often are too tired to stay up overnight to listen to the radio broadcasts, which is the time that most of us broadcast. But in a time like this, where people are confined to their homes, [they hear the Gospel] in numbers greater than normal.”

The Gospel of the risen Christ moves in North Korea, and living or dead, Kim can’t stop it.

Instead of speculating about Kim’s health, pray that Jesus would be with his people in North Korea. And pray that the kingdom of Christ would sprout out of one of the most oppressive regimes in human history.



Header photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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