North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is comatose and his decision to delegate some of his power to his sister is proof Kim Yo-jong is proof reported The Korea Herald quoting Chang Song-min, a former aide to South Korea’s late president Kim Dae-jung.

“I assess him to be in a coma, but his life has not ended. 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,” Chang Song-min said The Korea Herald.

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Kim Yo Jong, 32, is the North Korean leader’s only close relative with a public role in politics. She is currently the “de facto second-in-command.” However, she has not been designated his successor

Speculation about his health emerged in April after it came to public attention that Kim hasn’t attended recent high-level meetings, including a gathering of the ruling Workers’ Party. He also did not attend the April 15 celebrations for the birthday of his grandfather, the North’s founder – the most important day in the country’s political calendar.

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Following this, in May, the government had released a photograph featuring the leader. The photograph which shows Kim cutting a ribbon was reportedly taken from the inauguration of a fertiliser factory. However, Chang said that the photographs are fake.