Some reports from the United States have said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was in fragile condition after surgery. The South Korean government, meanwhile, has said it is looking into the reports. Officials from South Korea’s Unification Ministry and National Intelligence Service said they couldn’t immediately confirm the report of an anonymous U.S. official who said Kim was in “grave danger” after an unspecified surgery.
The report came after a South Korean internet news outlet reported that Kim has been receiving medical treatment at a villa in the resort county of Hyangsan, outside of Pyongyang, following a cardiovascular procedure.
The Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, said it couldn’t confirm another report by Daily NK, which cited anonymous sources to report that Kim was recovering from heart surgery in the capital Pyongyang and that his condition was improving.
Speculation about Kim’s health was raised after he missed the celebration of his late grandfather and state founder Kim Il Sung on April 15.
Credible information about North Korea and especially its leadership is difficult to obtain and even intelligence agencies have been wrong about its inner workings in the past.
Kim was last seen on April 11 in state media reports presiding over a political bureau meeting of the ruling Workers' Party, calling for "strict national countermeasures to thoroughly check the infiltration of the virus".