North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un is reportedly in “grave danger,” intelligence suggests, as the US monitors from a distance.
Though seen four days earlier at a government meeting, it is reported that Kim recently missed the celebration of his grandfather’s birthday on April 15, the anniversary of the birth of the country’s founding father, Kim II Sung. That has raised major concerns about his overall well being since undergoing surgery, according to a US official with direct knowledge.
“Daily NK, an online newspaper based in South Korea that focuses on North Korea, reports that Kim reportedly received a cardiovascular system procedure on April 12.,” CNN reports. “Kim received the cardiovascular system procedure because of "excessive smoking, obesity, and overwork,” according to the news site, and is now receiving treatment in a villa in Hyangsan County following his procedure.
“After assessing that Kim's condition had improved, most of the medical team treating him returned to Pyongyang on April 19 and only part of them remained to oversee his recovery situation, according to the news site. CNN is unable to independently confirm the report.”
Another US official told CNN on Monday that reports on the state of Kim’s health “are credible but the severity is hard to assess.”
With North Korea’s tight controls over its media, any information surrounding its leader is difficult to get. However, the U.S. is “keeping a close eye on” reports.
“We’re monitoring these reports very closely,” said Robert O’Brien, National Security Adviser. “As you know, North Korea is a very closed society, he said during an interview with Fox News Tuesday.
It is not the first time that Kim has disappeared from the public eye.
Kim Jong Un also disappeared for more than a month in 2014, which also set off speculation about his health.
President Trump said on Monday that the two countries have a “great relationship”, though they have yet to reach a solution in negotiations. And with the coronavirus pandemic, prospects for an in-person meeting are now hindered.