◆ Authorities also look to limit spread of information about coronavirus

The reporting partner explained that two people in the area were recently taken away to the provincial security bureau for questioning.

The reporting partner continued, "On April 26, an acquaintance from the market was called into the Ryanggang Province security bureau and asked, 'Have you ever said anything untrue regarding the coronavirus and have you been hearing strange stories from anyone recently?' The acquaintance had actually heard rumors about Kim Jong-un from someone recently but didn't say anything for fear he would get in trouble himself."

Apparently, the security officers investigating the case are asking people during interrogation if they have heard any "strange stories," rather than "strange stories about Kim Jong-un."

ASIAPRESS also asked a reporting partner from North Pyongan Province, the key transportation hub linking China and Pyongyang, about the rumors.

"Unusual rumors surrounding Kim Jong-un have been spreading and the crackdown has intensified. I can't talk for long," the reporting partner said hurriedly before hanging up.

It is not yet known what happened to Kim Jong-un. South Korean authorities continue to claim that "Kim Jong-un is in good health." Meanwhile, in North Korea, the crackdown on spreading information seems to be an overreaction by the authorities. (Kang Ji-won)

※ ASIAPRESS contacts its reporting partners in North Korea through smuggled Chinese mobile phones.

Editor’s notes on North Korean reporters

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