North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly being treated after a cardiovascular procedure earlier this month, Reuters reported.
There has been speculation around Kim's health after he missed a birthday celebration for his grandfather, Kim II Sung. April 15th is a national holiday in North Korea because Kim's grandfather was one of the nation's founding fathers.
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 Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, declined to comment on the report.
Kim’s health has deteriorated in recent months due to heavy smoking, obesity and overwork, the Daily NK report said.
On Friday, North Korea's Unification Ministry said it was “inappropriate” for the world to speculate about Kim's health simply because he was absent, Bloomberg reported.
Last year Kim made 84 public appearances, according to state-run media. This year he has only made seven. A partial decline in that number has been attributed to the Wuhan coronavirus, which has resulted in North Korea canceling celebrations and other public gatherings Kim would traditionally attend.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated with additional information.