Speculation About Kim Jong-Un’s Health After His Absence From Key Events


SEOUL — North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is receiving treatment after undergoing a cardiovascular procedure earlier this month, a South Korean media report said, amid speculation over Mr. Kim’s health following his absence from a key anniversary event.

North Korea marked the anniversary of the birthday of its founding father and Mr. Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, as a national holiday on April 15, but Mr. Kim was not seen in attendance.

Daily NK, a speciality website run mostly by North Korean defectors, cited unidentified sources inside the isolated state saying Kim is recovering at a villa in the Mount Kumgang resort county of Hyangsan on the east coast after getting the procedure on April 12 at a hospital there.

Reporting from inside North Korea is notoriously difficult, especially on matters concerning the country’s leadership, given tight controls on information.

South Korea’s government said it was looking into reports about Mr. Kim’s health.

Mr. Kim’s health has deteriorated in recent months because of heavy smoking, obesity and overwork, the Daily NK report said.

Mr. Kim left for the hospital after presiding over a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Politburo on April 11, where he was last publicly seen, the report said.

Pyongyang fired multiple short-range missiles last week, which Seoul officials said were also part of the Kim Il Sung birthday celebration. Such military events would usually be observed by Mr. Kim, but there was no report on the test at all by North Korean state media.



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