Top South Korean officials said they know Kim Jong Un’s location, in the strongest remarks yet from Seoul since the North Korean leader disappeared from public view more than two weeks ago.
“The government is aware of Kim Jong Un’s location,” Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said when asked directly in a parliamentary session on Tuesday, without elaborating.
Asked separately if South Korea informed President Donald Trump of Kim Jong Un’s whereabouts and condition, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said the U.S. leader was in constant communication with South Korean officials and “should have been notified.” She later clarified that Trump was aware of Kim Jong Un’s condition but not his location.
In a news briefing hours earlier, Trump said he knows the health status of Kim Jong Un while saying he “can’t talk about it now.” The U.S. president also said that “nobody knows where he is.”
Speculation about the 36-year-old North Korean leader’s health accelerated after the Seoul-based news site Daily NK reported April 20 that he was recovering from surgery, citing an unidentified person inside the country. Since then several different theories have emerged, including that he’s merely social distancing due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
South Korea has persistently said there have been no unusual movements, and that Kim has been staying “in the Wonsan area” on North Korea’s eastern coastline.
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