Sen. Lindsey Graham weighed in on the mystery surrounding the fate of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un when he said on Sunday he wouldn’t be surprised if Kim is dead.
“My guess is something bad happened to him. You don’t have a closed society and let the story go that long. I am pretty confident that he’s been compromised or dead,” the South Carolina Republican told The Post and Courier of Charleston.
Graham said he had “no direct evidence” of Kim’s status, and referred to North Korea’s authoritarian control of people and information, saying, “it’s a cult of personality over there.”
“I just hope, if this guy passes and the next person or group takes over, they will meet President Trump in the middle to give North Koreans a better life,” Graham said.
Graham also made it clear he would not mourn the dictator, whose death has been suggested by multiple uncorroborated media reports.
The senator told The Post and Courier he thinks Kim Jong Un “is one of the most ruthless people on the planet.”
“If he’s dead, I’m not going to shed a tear.”
Graham shared a similar sentiment on the status of Kim on Fox News on Saturday during an interview with host Jeanine Pirro.
Describing the hermit state as a “cult,” Graham unleashed on North Korea.
“It’s a closed society. I don’t know anything directly, but I’d be shocked if he’s not dead or in some incapacitated state because you don’t let rumors like this go forever, go unanswered in a closed society which is really a cult, not a country, called North Korea,” he told host Jeanine Pirro on “Justice with Judge Jeanine.”
Graham, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, added that he hopes the “North Korean people will get some relief if he is dead.”
“President Trump’s willing to do business with North Korea in a win-win fashion. So if this guy’s dead, I hope the person who takes over will work with President Trump to make North Korea a better place for everybody,” Graham said.
The youngest Kim is the grandson of the communist country’s first Supreme Leader, Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994.
There have been a number of conflating news reports about the fate of Kim Jong Un in recent days, with NBC News reporter Katie Tur reporting last week that Kim was “brain dead,” although she later deleted the tweet, according to the Washington Examiner.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) April 21, 2020
TMZ also reported over the weekend that Kim Jong Un had died, but numerous news agencies throughout Asia have provided reporting contradicting that report.
“Kim Jong Un is alive and well. He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13,” South Korea’s top foreign policy adviser, Moon Chung-in, told CNN.
Satellite images determined a train often used by Kim was seen parked at the dictator’s compound in Wonsan on the North Korean east coast between Tuesday and Thursday.
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