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Kim Jong-un was ‘seriously ill’ with a ‘high fever,’ confirms sister

The officials in attendance broke down in tears as she broke the news.

August 11, 2022 6:02pm

Updated: August 11, 2022 6:35pm

Kim Yo-Jong, the powerful sister to Kim Jong-un, revealed on Wednesday that the Supreme Leader fell “seriously ill” with a “high fever” during the country’s COVID-19 outbreak, driving some audience members to tears.

North Korea has kept its borders mostly closed since the outbreak of the pandemic in Jan. 2020, calling it a matter of “national survival.” The Communist country’s outdated medical infrastructure and widespread malnutrition make it especially vulnerable to COVID.

It only announced its first COVID-19 case on May 13, almost two years after the outbreak began. North Korean officials have since reported about 4.8 million “fever” cases in its population of 26 million but claims most of them were not caused by COVID.

The ruling party has claimed that the coronavirus arrived in its country on South Korean leaflet balloons, which reunification activists regularly send across the border with anti-regime leaflets, USB sticks, and Bible verses, among other things.

Yo-Jong repeated that claim on Wednesday, declaring vengeance on Seoul for deliberately infecting them with contaminated leaflets, reports

“If the enemies continue to do dangerous shit that could introduce the virus into our country, we'll respond of course by not only eradicating the virus but also exterminating the South Korean authority bastards,” she said to thunderous applause.

The regime’s second-in-command, Kim Yo-jong went viral in April 2020 amid rumors that her brother’s health was failing, picking up fans attracted to powerful women. Some praised her as a feminist or "girlboss." 

Critics quickly pointed out the terrible human rights record she shared with the North Korean regime.

"What the hell is wrong with you people," asked Twitter user @PrawfTee, accusing people of overlooking her human rights record "because she has a nice face." 

She has been highly visible in Pyongyang’s diplomatic relations with Seoul and Washington, including a spat where she called the South Korean defense minister a “scum-like guy” about preemptive strikes against Pyongyang.