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Kim Jong Un is not believed to have had surgery, says S. Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the completion of a fertiliser plant, in a region north of the capital, Pyongyang, in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 2, 2020.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the completion of a fertiliser plant, in a region north of the capital, Pyongyang, in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 2, 2020. via REUTERS - KCNA

South Korea's assessment is that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not have surgery, local news outlet Yonhap said, citing an unidentified senior official at presidential Blue House. 

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"There were speculative reports that Chairman Kim underwent a surgery citing some difference to his walk," the official was cited as saying.

"We have reasons to believe that there was no surgery, but cannot disclose such details."

Rumours about Kim's health have been swirling since his conspicuous no-show at April 15 celebrations for the birthday of his grandfather, the North's founder -- the most important day in the country's political calendar.

His absence triggered a series of fevered rumours and unconfirmed reports over his condition, while the United States and South Korea insisted they had no information to believe any of the conjecture was true.

North Korean state television showed Kim walking, smiling broadly and smoking a cigarette at what it said was the opening of a fertiliser factory on Friday.

 

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

 

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