Why Kim Jong Un Vanished: Ankle Problem?

South Korean source says he fractured both of them
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2014 6:41 AM CDT
Why Kim Jong Un Vanished: Ankle Problem
In this April 9, 2014, image made from video, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claps during the Supreme People's Assembly in Pyongyang.   (AP Photo/KRT via AP Video)

Kim Jong Un may be out of sight, but he's certainly not out of mind, with the theories and explanations about his nearly monthlong absence piling up. The latest, from South Korea's Chosun Ilbo: Cuban heels may be to blame. The paper has an unnamed source saying the leader fractured both of his ankles and needed surgery midmonth. "I heard that Kim Jong Un injured his right ankle in June after pushing ahead with on-site visits and ended up fracturing both ankles because he left the injury unattended," explains the source, who says Kim is holed up at the exclusive Bonghwa Clinic in Pyongyang.

A South Korean intelligence official says that the overweight Kim may have sprained his ankles while on what the paper describes as a "grueling tour of military bases and factories"—while wearing Cuban heels, a height-boosting style of footwear deemed a "man-trend" by the Guardian in 2011. The official adds that Kim's official car is still believed to be in the capital, indicating he's there, too. The Washington Post reports on another line of thinking that has been gathering steam on China's Weibo: that a dead (yes, dead) North Korean vice marshal has ousted Kim in a coup. A State Department rep acknowledged that the US has seen the various reports about Kim, but "we don't have any confirmation." (Another theory: It's gout.)

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