The denial comes from the Office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in. South Korean Minister for Unification: news of his illness or death is "fake news". Kim reappeared on May 1st during an inauguration. A North Korean exile said he was 99% certain he was dead.
Seoul (AsiaNews) - The Office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in denies that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has recently undergone surgery, not even a minor one.
In recent weeks rumors circulated about his poor health or even his death. Citing national intelligence, South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul spoke of "fake news".
The strong man from Pyongyang reappeared on May 1 while taking part in the inauguration of a fertilizer factory in Sunchon, north of the capital. The images shown by the KNA state agency broke the silence on his fate.
Kim has not appeared in public since April 11, when he chaired a high-level meeting of the Workers' Party, which has been governing North Korea since the end of World War II.
According to Daily NK, a website linked to the South Korean government, Kim underwent to cardiovascular surgery on 12 April for obesity problems, too much smoking and overwork. CNN relaunched the news, claiming that he was in "serious danger".
Ji Seong-ho, a North Korean exile newly elected to the Seoul Parliament, said he was "99% sure" of Kim's death. The failure to attend the ceremony on April 15 for the 108 years since the birth of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, the founder of the regime, had fueled the mass of rumors.
North Korea is one of the most insular countries, where the flow of news is very controlled. The health of its leader is treated as a matter of national security, given the fear of real or alleged coups.