Where Is Kim Jong-un? How Experts Track North Korea’s Leader

Where Is Kim Jong-un?

Kim Jong-un is the third Supreme Leader of North Korea who assumed power in 2011. North Korea is a hermit kingdom in the northern part of the Korean peninsula that lies below China. North Korea is cut off from the world they have banned the internet in the country. Moreover, the media in this country is state-controlled so the narrative is controlled by those in power. Kim Jong-un is the dictator of North Korea and is famous for issuing threatening statements to the world. Thus, Where Is Kim Jong-un and How Experts Track North Korea’s Leader is always relevant in today’s world because of the threats.

Kim Jong-un is the dictator of North Korea and is famous for issuing threatening statements to the world. North Korea does not hold free and fair elections. The critics of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea are persecuted and the media is not free to report anything. The regime is infamous for running prison and labor camps that have killed millions of people. It is important to keep track of Kim Jong-un’s activities that North Korea regularly tries to hide. Moreover, North Korea is now a nuclear-armed nation. It’s leader Kim Jong-un regularly threatens to destroy western countries like the USA with its nuclear missiles.

Where is Kim Jong-un?

Kim Jong-un makes public appearances in front of his countrymen from time to time. Recently, he has been strangely absent from public events and there have been no sightings of him. April 15 was his grandfather’s birthday who was the founder of the nation. This day is celebrated with pomp and show in North Korea. Kim Jong-un was surprisingly absent from the celebrations this year. This has gotten the leaders of the world wondering Where Is Kim Jong-un?

According to state-owned media outlet KCNA, Kim Jong-un was spotted on April 11 in a politburo meeting. Intelligence input from the Unites States suggested that Kim Jong-un underwent heart surgery. The cardiovascular operation was performed due to health issues which persist because of excessive smoking and obesity. He is probably in a critical condition. Some media outlets have even gone as far as to claim that he may be in a vegetative state. Some people have even claimed that he may even be dead.

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How Experts Track North Korea’s Leader

North Korea keeps a tight vigil across its borders and internet is non-existent within the country. Hence, there is no information from the ground regarding Kim Jong-un’s activities. The world uses indirect methods to track his activity. They interpret the hiding meaning behind publications put out by the state-run media. The state-run media does not directly report the activities of Kim Jong-un. However, the content it publishes can be suggestive of his whereabouts. Analysts also use satellite imagery to try and track his movements. While it is difficult to track him accurately, it does give them an idea of his whereabouts. Only a limited number of flights take off and land at Pyongyang. Hence, tracking unscheduled flights is also an effective method.

Satellite Imagery

Satellite Imagery is an important tool that analysts use to peep into North Korea. It is effective as it requires no ground presence and is virtually undetectable. Analysts use satellite imagery to observe any changes within the country and to analyse patterns. This helps them estimate Kim Jong-un’s movements. If a heavy guard deployment is seen around the Central Party Complex, that means that Kim Jong-un is the building. The heavy guard presence is for his own security. Analysts also try to spot and track his motorcade consisting of a few Mercedes sedans and supporting vehicles.

The Central party complex also houses Kim Jong-un’s personal clinic. In April, this clinic was demolished and replaced by a much larger structure. If Kim indeed had health issues, he may also be getting treatment at the Ponghwa clinic. Kim’s family has its own ward there as it is the most prestigious hospital in North Korea.

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In Wonsan, there is a train station that is very close to one of Kim’s residences. On April 23, a train that looks like Kim’s personal train was stationed nearby. This sparked the speculation that he may be at his residence at Wonsan. There is also an isolated complex called the Samjiyon compound in the country’s northern part. It serves as Kim’s panic room. He can run the entire country from there in case his health or his survival was in danger. In fact, he might just be resting and recovering in his Kangdong Residence. However, one must keep in mind that the North Koreans are aware that they are being watched by satellite imagery. Hence at times, they deploy decoys in order to misguide the world.

State-run Media

The state-run media does not directly mention about Kim’s health or its whereabouts. However, analysts go through the type of content being published in order to gauge the current mood of the nation. The state-run media treats Kim Jong-un like a God. Whenever there is a crisis around the corner, North Korean newspapers will publish long editorials. These editorials talk about the virtues of the Kim family leadership and their values.

Flight Tracking

Only about 6 flights a day land at Pyongyang airport. Hence, any unscheduled flight is easy to identify and track. An unscheduled flight could be suggestive of a medical team being flown in or Kim leaving the country for treatment. An unscheduled charter flight could be a good signal about the regime’s and Kim’s intentions.


It is not expected that Kim Jong-un has passed away. More likely, he is at his residence in Wonsan recovering from the cardiovascular surgery he underwent. While there is no way to confirm this, all evidence seems to be pointed in that direction. It is important to know that North Korea is under stable leadership, keeping in mind that it’s a nuclear-armed nation. Both the South Koreans and the North Koreans mention that Kim Jong-un is alive and well.


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