KIM JONG-UN’s health has been back into the spotlight as the hermit state appears to be making plans for the despot’s death – leading one North Korean watcher site to declare it could signal “Kim’s health is not good.”

North Korea’s ruling communist party has now appointed an official deputy. Workers’ Party of Korea’s (WKP) rules show a new position of first secretary has been created, with the powers to govern the country if the leader is incapacitated.

NK News, which monitors the secretive state, concludes the North Korean leadership has “begun to make preparations for the sudden death or, more likely, long-term incapacitation of North Korea’s current leader”.

The publication argues: “This decision probably indicates that Kim’s health is not good.”

Kim Jong-un has vanished from public view a number of times over the past year and a half, sparking speculation about his condition.

The new WKP rules, acquired by NK News, were approved at its eighth party congress in January.

This is the first time a potential successor to the North Korean leader has been set out so explicitly.

Article 28 of the new rules strengthens the Politburo Permanent Committee, North Korea’s top executive body.

Any politburo member can now preside over the committee if given permission by the general secretary.