Chinese diplomats and doctors at Kim Jong-un's deathbed
by Kim Sang-wook

A group of Chinese personalities in Pyongyang to give "advice". Rumors on the health of the supreme leader. An "unusual increase" in checks on artillery and flights of military aircraft from the North along the dividing line.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - A group of Chinese personalities, politicians and doctors, have were sent from China to Pyongyang to offer "advice" on the situation of leader Kim Jong-un. This trip - announced by an anonymous source to Reuters - occurs as questions about the health of the North Korean supreme chief grow.

Days ago, the Daily NK had published the news that Kim was in a very serious condition, having undergone a cardiovascular operation. This is compounded by the fact that he is suffering from diabetes and obesity.

But so far, the South Korean government, the US and China itself have minimized a possible alarm on the leader's health.

It is a fact, however, that two days ago KCNA, the state agency issued a message of thanks from Kim to Bashar Assad. But it is also true that there have been no photos of him engaging in activities or inspections in a long time.

The South Korean Ministry of Defense noted an "unusual increase" in inspections of northern artillery and military aircraft flights along the dividing line and along the coasts. Many of these flights have not even been announced.

North Korea is one of the most closed countries. The health of its leader is treated as a matter of high security, given the fear of real or alleged coups.

Kim Yo-jong is already part of the regime's nomenclature. Of late she often joins her brother in official ceremonies, and gave her first public speech last month. She is viewed as a more moderate leader, who has encouraged relaxation in relations with the Trump administration. And maybe that's why Chinese diplomats have flocked to Pyongyang.