On Sunday, as The Mirror reported, Chang Song-min, a former aide to South Korea's late president Kim Dae-jung, told the press that the authoritarian ruler is still alive but that his sister, Kim Yo Jong, is taking over.
"I assess him to be in a coma, but his life has not ended," the diplomat said.
"A complete succession structure has not been formed, so Kim Yo-jong is being brought to the fore as the vacuum cannot be maintained for a prolonged period."Earlier this week, South Korea's intelligence agency -- National Intelligence Service (NIS) -- said that Kim will "exert absolute power" over his nation, but noted that he is expected to involve his sister "to ease stress."
Some believe that it would be better for the world if he was alive and well.
According to the author of My Favorite Dictators, Chris Mikul, even though he is "brutal," Kim may be the "most benevolent" leader to ever rule his country.
Mikul explained that Kim has become "completely westernised" after studying in Switzerland, where he fell in love with basketball and video games.
Unlike his potential successors, the author said, he has shown "some concern for welfare" of his people.
"It's probably better to have Kim Jong-un ruling, which is horrible to say but it appears that the economy is better under him than it has been, or at least as good as it's ever been under any of the Kims," Mikul added.
Earlier this year, reports alleged that Kim was either dead or seriously ill.
But, as The New York Times reported, after three weeks of absence, the dictator resurfaced to cut the ribbon on a fertilizer factory opening. This seemed to put an end to rumors about his death and end speculation about his possible successors.
Even though the leader reappeared, no explanation was given for his absence. In response, some alleged that he had fallen ill following a botched heart surgery.
Others claimed that Kim is indeed dead and that a body double appeared at the ribbon cutting ceremony. The rumors were fueled after the resurfacing of a 2017 video which showed the dictator standing with a pair of body doubles as he showed off a missile.
In June, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) -- the state news agency of North Korea -- seemed to suggest that the country is rejecting future diplomacy with the United States.
The announcement was made on the second anniversary of the historic Singapore summit.