South Korea looking into reports about Kim Jong Un’s health

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Kim Jong Un

In this Tuesday, March 17, 2020, photo provided on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a speech during the ground-breaking ceremony of a general hospital in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim said it’s “crucial” to improve his country’s health care system during the ceremony, state media reported Wednesday, amid worries about a coronavirus outbreak in the impoverished North. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: “KCNA” which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The South Korean government on Tuesday was looking into U.S. media reports saying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was in fragile condition after surgery.

Officials from South Korea’s Unification Ministry and National Intelligence Service said they couldn’t immediately confirm the report. CNN cited an anonymous U.S. official who said Kim was in “grave danger” after an unspecified surgery.

The Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, said it couldn’t confirm another report by Daily NK, which cited anonymous sources to report that Kim was recovering from heart surgery in the capital Pyongyang and that his condition was improving.

Speculation about Kim’s health was raised after he missed the celebration of his late grandfather and state founder Kim Il Sung on April 15.

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