Amid mounting speculation over North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un’s health, South Korea’s top foreign policy adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in said dictator Kim was “alive and well.”
“Kim Jong Un is alive and well. He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected.”
Questions were raised about Kim’s well-being after he missed the celebration of his grandfather’s birthday on April 15. He had been seen four days before that at a politburo meeting, according to North Korean state media, KCNA.
It was earlier reported this week that the United States is monitoring intelligence that Kim is “in grave danger after a surgery,” according to a US official.
It followed a report by Daily NK, an online newspaper based in South Korea that focuses on North Korea, that Kim reportedly received a cardiovascular procedure because of “excessive smoking, obesity, and overwork.” It added that the leader is now receiving treatment in a villa in Hyangsan County.
After assessing that Kim’s condition had improved, most of the medical team treating him returned to Pyongyang on April 19 while some of them remained to oversee his recovery.
On Sunday though, North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Kim sent thanks to workers who helped in remodeling the city of Samjiyon in North Korea. However, its not yet confirmed if the note of thanks came directly from the leader.
It is not the first time North Korean media has reported on Kim’s activities since news of his potential health issues emerged.