New Delhi: Fuelling rumours of the about the failing health condition of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a former aide to South Korea’s late president Kim Dae-Jung, Chang Song-min has claimed that Kim is in a coma and that’s why his sister Kim Yo-jong has been given powers.

“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 said in an interview according to a report by South Korean media. 

Reiterating his earlier claims, where he has said that Kim Jon Un is bedridden and unable to rule. Chang has claimed to have gotten the information from a source in China. He even went on to say that photos of Kim released by the North Korean media in recent months were fake. 

Earlier, South Korea`s intelligence agency had claimed that Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is serving as his “de facto second-in-command” but has not necessarily been designated his successor, a South Korean lawmaker said on Thursday.

Ha Tae-keung, an opposition party lawmaker on parliament`s intelligence committee, told reporters that Kim was helping to run the regime with mandated authority from her brother.

“The bottom line is that Kim Jong-un still holds absolute power, but has turned over a bit more of his authority compared to the past,” Ha said, following a closed-door briefing by the South`s National Intelligence Service, Reuters reported on Thursday.

More authority on economic and military policy has also been delegated to several other senior officials, although at a lower level, possibly to reduce strain on Kim Jong-un as well as help him avoid blame for any failures, Ha said.

Meanwhile, speculations have been rife about Kim Jong-un’s health with rumours suggesting his death linked to fewer public appearances this year  by the North Korean leader. 

According to some rumours, a failed heart surgery has either left the North Korean leader either bedridden or dead.

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