North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “alive and well”, a top security adviser to the South’s President Moon Jae-in said, downplaying rumours over Kim’s health following his absence from a key anniversary.
The adviser said that Kim had been staying in Wonsan — a resort town in the country’s east — since April 13, adding: “No suspicious movements have so far been detected.”
Conjecture about Kim’s health has grown since his conspicuous absence from the April 15 celebrations for the birthday of his grandfather Kim Il Sung, the North’s founder — the most important day in the country’s political calendar.
Kim has not made a public appearance since presiding over a Workers’ Party politburo meeting on April 11, and the following day state media reported him inspecting fighter jets at an air defence unit.
His absence unleashed a series of unconfirmed media reports over his condition, which officials in Seoul previously poured cold water on.
South Korea’s unification minister Kim Yeon-chul reiterated Monday that remained the case, adding the “confident” conclusion was drawn from “a complex process of intelligence gathering and assessment”.