Rumours of Chinese medical team sent to assist Kim has been going around for a number of days, until Reuters confirmed this morning after talking to credible sources.

There were other rumours, most of which were not believable at all.

However, why is everything so calm and quiet in North Korea?

Of course we do not know for sure, and we believe that since the purge of Jang Song-thaek, even the Chinese intelligence would probably know for sure.

But imagine if you were a senior North Korean official, when the leader might or might not be seriously ill, what would you do? Keep calm, assess the situation, and

Most likely, senior North Koreans do not know for sure as well whether the Supreme Leader is recovering or not.

Whoever moves during this period would be taking a grave risk, putting themselves in serious danger for being opportunistic.

Historically, dictators have pretended to be weak or ill to test how loyal their senior subjects are. Ivan the Terrible and Stalin in Russia, as well as Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-Shek in China, all used such tactics. Those who put disloyal acts were quickly purged.

It is a test of patience, for North Korean officials, a well as the outside world.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at hello@mworks.asia.