Kim: 'Gravely Ill' or Doing Just Fine?

South Korea refutes reports that North Korean leader's health is in danger
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2020 12:48 AM CDT
Reports Claim Kim Had Surgery
People watch a TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with a file image at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 21, 2020.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(Newser) – Kim Jong Un hasn't been seen in public in more than a week, but South Korea is refuting reports that the North Korean leader's health is in danger. The denial came soon after a CNN report claiming that the US is monitoring intelligence suggesting Kim is "in grave danger" after an unspecified surgery, plus a report from South Korea's Daily NK claiming Kim was recovering from a cardiovascular procedure. Two South Korean government sources say those reports are incorrect and Kim is not gravely ill, Reuters reports.

"We have no information to confirm regarding rumors about Chairman Kim Jong Un’s health issue that have been reported by some media outlets. Also, no unusual developments have been detected inside North Korea," South Korea's presidential Blue House said in a statement cited by the AP. South Korea’s Unification Ministry and National Intelligence Service also said they couldn’t immediately confirm the CNN or Daily NK reports (the latter of which claimed the procedure was to address "excessive smoking, obesity, and overwork"). The South Korean government is reportedly looking into all the speculation. (Read more Kim Jong Un stories.)

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