Kim Jong-un underwent heart surgery earlier this month and is recovering at his private villa, according to a South Korean report, with US media citing officials as saying the North Korean leader was in “grave danger” after the procedure.
South Korea’s government said there were no signs North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was gravely ill after a reports he had undergone cardiovascular surgery earlier this month, and was in “grave danger”.
Daily NK, a Seoul-based website that relies on anonymous sources inside North Korea to report on the isolated country, said late Monday that Mr. Kim received a cardiovascular procedure at Hyangsan Hospital, a clinic dedicated to treating the Kim family, on April 12.
Reporting from inside North Korea is notoriously difficult, especially on matters concerning the country’s leadership, given tight controls on information.
Kim’s last public appearance was earlier this month at a politburo meeting, but the leader missed a public celebration of the birthday of Kim Il Sung, Kim’s grandfather. Kim’s absence led to speculation about his health.
Chad O’Carroll, the chief executive of Korea Risk Group, which produces the respected NK Pro and NK News, sounded a note of caution.
“It IS definitely notable that Kim Jong Un was missing all last week given the 04.15 holidays,” he wrote on Twitter. “But it should be acknowledged that there are *many* rumours about his health going on at the moment. Some even regurgitate stuff we heard when KJU disappeared in 2014.”