North Korean leader Kim Jong Un extended “warm greetings” and a message of sympathy to President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump upon learning of their COVID-19 diagnosis.
“In the message he said he heard of the sudden news that the president and the first lady of the U.S. have been tested positive for corona virus,” the the Korean Central News Agency reported Saturday from Pyongyang.
“He offered his sympathy to the president and the first lady,” the report continued. “He sincerely hoped that they would recover as soon as possible. He hoped they will surely overcome it. He sent warm greetings to them.”
Kim Jong Un sends message of sympathy to Trump, expresses hope he and his wife will recover as soon as possible pic.twitter.com/wMARqEfHSE
— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) October 2, 2020
Kim is one of many world leaders to express well wishes for Trump, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, who offered his hope for “a speedy recovery,” according to Reuters.
The relationship between Kim and Trump started out contentious early in his presidency, with Trump famously threatening in 2017 to rain “fire and fury” down upon the hermit nation for provoking the United States. Trump also dubbed Kim “Little Rocket Man” for refusing to dismantle his nuclear program. Kim, in response, called Trump “a mentally deranged dotard.”
Things appeared to mend during the famous summit in Singapore in 2018, when Trump became the first president to meet with a North Korean leader since the unofficial end of the Korean War. Since their meeting in Vietnam in 2019, discussions between the two nations reached a stalemate.
Kim has had his own health concerns in recent months, with some claiming he had fallen into a coma or even died, leaving his sister, Kim Yo Jong, with the reins of power.
As The Daily Wire reported in August:
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has fallen into a coma as his sister seizes the reins of power in the communist country, according to a former aide to the South Korean president.
According to the Mirror, Chang Song-min, who served as an aide to former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, told South Korean media of the 36-year-old Kim Jong Un, “I assess him to be in a coma, but his life has not ended.”
Song-min maintained that Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, is assuming the mantle of leadership in her brother’s absence. “A complete succession structure has not been formed, so Kim Yo Jong is being brought to the fore as the vacuum cannot be maintained for a prolonged period,” he said, adding that Kim’s death “could spell disaster for the country.”
The Mirror went on to report that the National Intelligence Service (NIS) claimed Kim Jong Un will continue to “exert absolute power,” despite increasingly ceding his power to his sister “to ease stress.”
Reports of Kim Jong Un’s demise have come before. Rumors swirled last April that he had died after a botched heart operation, leading one North Korean defector to claim that he was “99% sure” the leader was dead.
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