The Brief: #KimJongUnDead memes began trending after the North Korean Supreme Leader was reported to have died of a botched heart operation on April 25.
On April 25, TMZ reported Kim Jong Un , the Supreme Leader of North Korea since 2011, died in a botched heart surgery. The tabloid credited sources in China and Japan, writing “a Hong Kong-backed news channel’s vice director — who’s apparently the niece of a Chinese foreign minister — blasted out the news herself … he’s dead. TMZ has not confirmed that.”
Once the news broke, many speculated whether the reports were in fact true, and if so, whether Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo-jong, would take his place.
North Korea has since refuted the claims. A state-run newspaper is attempting to prove Kim Jon Un is healthy by reporting he sent a thank-you letter to a resort, reports The New York Post.
South Korea also claims Kim Jong Un is in good health, with Moon Chung-in, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s top foreign policy advisor, telling CNN, “Our government position is firm. Kim Jong Un is alive and well. He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected.”
Regardless of the true state of affairs, the internet was quick to create memes out of the situation, causing #KimJongUnDead to trend on Twitter.
— saturnfield (@ivivivivmusic) April 25, 2020
— 🧢 (@NegativeVibesz) April 25, 2020
— RG | ESPORT TEAM | MadBoat (@mad_boat1957) April 25, 2020
Many memes were about Kim Jong Un’s surgeon.
— The Amorous Narcissist (@Odi_JNR) April 25, 2020
— based cheesus (@MatchboxCody) April 25, 2020
The surgeon who killed him on his way out the country pic.twitter.com/ip2IGAzTdK
— memory lane (@bitchim999) April 25, 2020
Of course, the already viral Ghanian coffin dancers meme was used to create a few, very viral Kim Jong Un memes.
— 乇.૨.เ.૮ (@Psycho_Ebube) April 25, 2020
— Tam Pico (@ClearParadox) April 25, 2020
— knknkn (@kota61601) April 25, 2020
There was also this meme within a meme involving a possible cure to Kim Jon Un’s ailments: a syringe full of disinfectant.
— skar (@Harley76603539) April 25, 2020
Other memes were about Kim Jong Un’s possible condition.
— Ryan Polak (@polak_ryan) April 25, 2020
— 𝕮𝖆𝖗𝖑𝖔𝖘 🇲🇽💥 (@FutbolFax) April 25, 2020
— mbizfreak (@mbizfreak) April 25, 2020
One of these men are brain dead and the other one is Kim Jong-un. pic.twitter.com/hJaKUWhGLA
— The Tweetwit 🆘 (@TheTweetwit) April 25, 2020
James Franco was also trending because of his involvement in the 2014 comedy The Interview, which followed two journalists (Franco, Seth Rogen) as they attempted to set up an interview with Kim Jong Un.
— Emily 🧊 (@Emilyinthe90210) April 25, 2020