South Korean and Chinese officials on Tuesday cast doubt on reports North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was ill after media outlets said he had undergone a cardiovascular procedure and was in “grave danger” CNN cited a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the matter as saying Washington was “monitoring intelligence” that Kim was in grave danger after surgery. Bloomberg quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying the White House was told that Kim took a turn for the worse after the surgery.
Kim is the unquestioned leader of North Korea and the sole commander of its nuclear arsenal. He has no clear successor and any instability in the country could be a major international risk. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing was aware of reports about the health of Kim, but said it does not know their source, without commenting on whether it has any information about the situation.
South Korea says it can’t corroborate reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is gravely ill, with an official in the presidential office saying Seoul believes he is with officials traveling outside the capital, Pyongyang. https://t.co/W9dAbkY9uY
— CNN (@CNN) April 21, 2020
My take on the Kim Jong Un rumors:
We always need to be extremely cautious about speculation from North Korea because it’s very difficult to verify. But these latest rumors are gaining traction because Kim is so obviously in such bad shape.https://t.co/f5ERp8DDQi
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) April 21, 2020