NORTH KOREA — Early reports indicate that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is gravely ill following a procedure earlier this month.
This has not yet been confirmed by North Korea State media.
South Korea’s news outlet Yonhap said that government officials disputed the claim that Kim Jong Un’s health was in jeopardy. It was unclear if the government officials were representatives of North Korea or South Korea.
Earlier, officials from South Korea’s Unification Ministry and National Intelligence Service said they couldn’t immediately confirm the report. CNN cited an anonymous U.S. official who said Kim was in “grave danger” after an unspecified surgery.
He had been receiving treatment after undergoing surgery earlier this month.
Kim was last seen in public April 11. He missed the 'Day of the Sun" celebration of his grandfather and the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung.
In March, North Korea said President Donald Trump sent a personal letter to Kim, seeking to maintain good relations and offering cooperation in fighting the outbreak.
At the time, Kim’s sister and senior official, Kim Yo Jong, said that Trump’s letter showed how special the relationship between the two leaders was, but that it wasn’t a good idea to be optimistic about the prospects for bilateral relations between their countries.
A senior Trump administration official confirmed that Trump sent a letter to Kim, saying it was consistent with Trump’s efforts to engage world leaders during the pandemic.
Check back for more on this developing story.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Cox Media Group