'Schrodinger's dictator': With rumours swirling, Kim Jong Un is 'both dead and alive'


IN THE PAPERS - Monday, April 27: Papers speculate over the health of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has been absent from public since mid-April. One cartoonist compares the situation to Schrodinger's famous thought experiment in which a cat, placed in a box with a potential poison, is both dead and alive until that box is opened. We also look at kids in Spain going back outside, kids in France possibly going back to school, and llamas and goats going to Zoom meetings! 


Rumours over Kim Jong Un’s health have been flying around since April 15, when he missed national celebrations for the birthday of his late grandfather, North Korea's founder. Speculation continues in the Korean press this Monday, and on many front pages you’ll see a satellite image released over the weekend by a monitoring website. It shows Kim Jong Un's train at a station in Wonsan, a resort town on North Korea's east coast. Papers are suggesting he is there to either avoid contracting Covid-19 or to receive medical treatment.

The reality though, is that for now no one really knows. The US cartoonist John Cole calls him "Schrodinger’s dictator", a reference to the famous paradox of "Schrodinger's cat". Inside the "tightly sealed box" that is North Korea, the leader is simultaneously alive and not alive.

Meanwhile in Spain, children hadn't been seen for weeks until Sunday, when they were allowed to leave their homes for the first time in over 40 days. Their photos are all over the Spanish papers this morning. El Pais writes that the day went by without major incidents, but did see a few temper tantrums - including from one little girl who said that she had forgotten how to ride her bike.

Here in France the big question is whether or not kids will actually be going back to school on May 11. That’s the date the government has announced schools will reopen, but the scientific council which advises the government is recommending they stay closed until September. Le Parisien says the conflicting advice only amplifies an already heated debate among educators. The paper compares reopening schools to mission impossible.

Finally, for all those getting bored of online meetings, one farm in California has a solution – invite a llama! The Independent writes that the so-called "Goat-2-Meeting" initiative allows you to invite a llama, a goat, a cow, or the farm animal of your choice to a live call. The prices start at $65 for a 20-minute appearance. It doesn’t say whether or not they're willing to appear on live television, but FRANCE 24 could certainly give it a shot.

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