SEOUL • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not undergo surgery during his recent absence from public life, a period of almost three weeks, South Korean news outlet Yonhap said yesterday, citing a senior government official.
The South Korean official declined to provide reasons for believing that Mr Kim did not undergo surgery, but said speculative reports that he may have had surgery, citing some differences in his leg movements, are not true, Yonhap reported.
After weeks of intense speculation about Mr Kim’s health and whereabouts, which included one report that he had undergone cardiovascular surgery, North Korea’s official media published photographs and a report last Saturday that Mr Kim had attended the completion of a fertiliser plant.
The official also denied reports that Mr Kim had undergone a simple operation, Yonhap reported.
There was solid evidence contradicting the speculation, he said without elaborating, according to the agency.
The speculation about Mr Kim’s health started when he skipped one of the most significant political events on the country’s calendar – the April 15 birthday celebration of his late grandfather and founder of the country, Mr Kim Il Sung.