According to a US official with direct knowledge, there are reports saying Kim Jong Un is in grave danger after undergoing a previous surgery. Another source familiar with the US intelligence told sources that the agency is closely monitoring the reports about the North Korean leader’s health.
As per reports, the 36-year-old Kim underwent a “cardiovascular surgical procedure” and was now mostly recovered. However, the news was not fully verified. The speculation about his unwell health occurred when he recently missed the celebration of his grandfather’s birthday on April 15. He attended a government meeting just four days ago of the event.
According to Daily NK, an online newspaper in South Korea claimed Kim received the cardiovascular system procedure because of “excessive smoking, obesity, and overwork.” He is now under treatment in a villa in Hyangsan County following his procedure.
The medical team treating him returned to Pyongyang on April 19 after Kim’s condition had improved. Only a few of them stayed there to look after his health condition. The sources said that Kim’s issues related to weight and smoking are well known but they are waiting for more information.
To discuss the emergency planning, US officials are planning to reach out to North Korean experts. Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and former CIA deputy division chief for North Korea said, “There have been a number of recent rumors about Kim’s health (smoking, heart, and brain). If Kim is hospitalized, it would explain why he wasn’t present on the important April 15th celebrations,”
“But, over the years, there have been a number of false health rumors about Kim Jong-un or his father. We’ll have to wait and see.” North Korea has been fighting to prevent the coronavirus outbreak, which has led to cancelling celebration and some other major events in the country.