October 06, 2014 13:06
A senior North Korean official on Saturday said leader Kim Jong-un has "no health problems."
There has been global speculation about Kim's health because the obese leader has not been seen in public since the beginning of September, and he was last seen walking with a limp.
But Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae said he asked Kim Yang-gon, the head of the United Front Department, during a surprise visit to the South on Saturday whether Kim Jong-un is unwell, and the official told him no.
"Something in his tone told me that Kim Jong-un has no serious problems with his health," Ryoo told reporters Sunday.
Ryoo said, "It seems true that Kim Jong-un has some problem with his health, as footage showed him walking with a limp a month or two ago, but rumors that he was seriously sick and there was a consequent popular unrest in North Korea aren't true."
"We believe it was really a warning sign that he has to pay attention to his health," he added.
There have been news reports at home and abroad that American, French, German and Russian doctors have visited the North to treat him, together with speculation that he is suffering from an ankle injury, gout, or a cardiovascular disease, and that there has been a coup in the wake of internal power struggles.
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