Amid media reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is unwell, a South Korean government source told the JoongAng Ilbo on Tuesday that the reclusive leader is fine and is busy in his regular activities at a villa.
I am aware Chairman Kim is staying at a villa in Kangwon Province and has been conducting undisclosed visits to nearby locations. Kim is also believed to have been at a location in Munchon, near Wonsan, where the North Korean military launched a cruise missile on April 14, said the source.
On Tuesday, leading American news channel CNN had reported that Kim was in grave danger after undergoing a cardiovascular operation. A US official with direct knowledge said American intelligence was keeping a close watch over Kims health, reported CNN.
On Monday, a South Korean online periodical from Monday had claimed that Kim had undergone heart surgery at a hospital near Mount Myohyang on April 12.
On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump wished Kim “well but did not make any comment on his health.
“I can only say this: I wish him well,” Trump told reporters at the White House, noting the “good relationship” he shares with the North Korean leader.
“I just hope he’s doing fine,” Trump said, adding he “may” get in touch with Kim to find out about his well-being. “If he is in the kind of condition that the reports say, that the news is saying, it’s a very serious condition,” said Trump.
South Korea’s government, however, urged the people to not trust speculative reports. Blue House spokesman Kang Min-Seok on Tuesday told the media that there were no signs to confirm that Kim was unwell. The head of the South Korean National Assembly’s Intelligence Committee, Rep. Kim Min-ki of the ruling Democratic Party, said that Kim was not ailing.