NORTH KOREAN leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly died, though the news has not yet been confirmed by North Korea or the United States.
Hong Kong Satellite Television is reporting that the leader of the hermit kingdom is dead.
The Vice director of HKSTV has also told her more than 15 million followers on Chinese social media website Weibo that his death claim was backed by a “very solid source.”
Reuters revealed that China has sent doctors to the closed-off country to investigate the claims.
Kim Jong Un’s sister is next inline to take the throne if the North Korean leader dies.
Photos have circulated on social media showing the North Korean leader ‘lying in state’ – though it is not yet known if the photos are real.
Washington said it was ‘monitoring intelligence’ that the North Korean dictator was at death’s door following cardiovascular surgery, a US official claimed earlier this week.
Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo-Jong will takeover as leader if the North Korean leader dies.
She is a North Korean politician and is the youngest daughter of former supreme leader Kim Jong-il.
Yo-Jong is a member of the Politburo and vice director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’
The North Korean leader was recently noticeably absent during a celebration of his grandfather’s birthday on April 15, raising widespread questions over his health.
Initial reports stated that he had been seen four days to prior to that, at a government meeting, yet confusion shrouded the mystery of his whereabouts, with North Korean officials and state-run media remaining typically tight-lipped.
Following the CNBC’s coverage of the fresh intelligence claims made by the US official, several markets have been affected, with Koreans both in the North and South waiting anxiously for news.
An earlier report from Reuters citing South Korean media website, Daily NK, as saying that Jong Un was receiving treatment after undergoing a cardiovascular procedure on April 12, also contributed to market drops.
The uncertainty of the situation and “what a potential new regime might look like” is weighing on markets, Bank of America’s Securities’ Adarsh Sinha said.
“The first thing the (foreign exchange) market does is price in higher risk premium, which means a weaker currency, or a weaker Korean won.
“Many other currencies in Asia have also buckled under the possibility of the North Korean leader’s death”, he added.