On Wednesday, South Korean spy agency confirmed, there are no signs North Korean leader Kim Jong Un received heart surgery. The leader disappeared from state media for three weeks which triggered some speculations that he is unwell. But the spy agency claimed he reduced public activity due to coronavirus concerns.
North Korea’s official media said on Saturday, Kim attended the completion of a fertilizer plant. His absence fueled speculation about his health. A South Korean news agency reported that Kim was recovering from a cardiovascular procedure.
After a meeting with the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the members of South Korea’s parliamentary intelligence committee said the reports were “groundless.”
“The NIS assesses that at least he did not get any heart-related procedure or surgery,” committee member Kim Byung-kee told reporters.
“He was normally performing his duties when he was out of the public eye.”
“At least there’s no heart-related health problem.”
He further stated that Kim Jong Un has made only 17 public appearances this year which is less than the previous years, an average of 50.
“Kim Jong Un had focused on consolidating internal affairs such as military forces and party-state meetings, and coronavirus concerns have further limited his public activity,” Kim Byung-kee said.
“Though North Korea maintains it has zero cases, it cannot be ruled out that there is an outbreak there given they had active people-to-people exchanges with China before closing the border in late January.”
North Korea has no confirmed cases. The lawmaker said the South Korean leader ordered measures to prevent the disease, stabilize prices and strengthen military discipline due to border shutdowns and market closures.