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Theory #1.5 on Kim’s absence calls it a head fake

As the mystery of Kim Jong Un’s failure to appear publicly since September 11 deepens, let’s consider a really tricky variation on the most creative of five theories Asia Times put forth earlier this week.

Theory #1 started out surmising that Kim Jong Un had noticed that his erstwhile pal Donald Trump was desperate to come up with accomplishments that Trump could show off in a reelection campaign – a campaign severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and accompanying recession or depression.

Kim also had noticed the American killing of General Qassem Soleimani of Iran on January 3, followed by increasingly tough Trump administration talk about North Korea.

Kim, according to Theory #1, feared that his own grandfather Kim Il Sung’s 108th birth anniversary on April 15 might be Trump’s choice of the most favorable day to wag the dog – distracting American voters by ordering the killing of the North Korean leader at one of the usual venues for tribute to the founder.

Thus, Theory #1 concluded, Kim the 3d took the precaution of calling off events and went into hiding in his vast network of tunnels.

What we’ll do now is expand upon that to come up with Theory #1.5. Assume all of the above and add the following:

Having begun his disappearance, Kim from his tunnel hideout deployed a hidden asset: a North Korean mole who, pretending to be a secret dissident, had signed on as an anonymous news source for Daily NK.

Daily NK is a Seoul-based news organization founded partly by defectors that gives its secret sources inside North Korea Chinese cell phones – with which they can communicate with Seoul via the cellular system across the border in China.

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