North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly in “grave danger” following a surgery, according to a U.S. official cited by CNN.
The 36-year-old leader reportedly underwent a cardiovascular system procedure on April 12, according to South Korean newspaper Daily NK, which covers North Korea. Kim reportedly received the surgery for “excessive smoking, obesity, and overwork.”
Speculation about Kim’s health ramped up when he missed the birthday celebration for his grandfather and founder of North Korea, Kim Il-sung, on April 15. It is considered North Korea’s most important holiday.
Ascertaining reliable information about Kim Jong Un is difficult, as North Korea has no free press and almost never offers insight into its leadership decisions. In a statement given to reporters, South Korea’s Presidential Blue House said it has seen “no unusual signs” regarding Kim’s health, while the Unification Ministry and Defense Ministry gave “no comment” to CNN.
In lieu of comment from the North Korean government on Kim’s health, Twitter users provided their own—and, unsurprisingly, they came in the form of memes.
Kim Jong Un memes
Many users joked that Kim was headed to the Gulag—the Russian prison featured in Call of Duty: Warzone where players killed in combat can fight one-on-one for a chance to return to the game—which has become a popular meme over the past week and a half.
Some Twitter users chalked Kim Jong Un’s health scare up to karmic retribution for claiming North Korea had seen no coronavirus cases, despite being bordered by China and South Korea—two of the first countries to be infected. Others mocked Kim's surgeon for what they perceived to be either incompetence or malicious intent. In general, Twitter searches for "Kim Jung Un" and "#KimJongUn" produced a lot of schadenfreude.
Other Twitter users still poked fun at the efforts of smaller Twitter accounts to strike while the iron was hot and craft the perfect Kim Jong Un meme tweet.
Reports on Kim Jong Un's health are likely to change over the next few days.
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