Kim did not have surgery amid lingering rumors: South Korea

SEOUL (HRNW) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not undergo surgery or any other medical procedure, a South Korean official said Sunday, amid speculation about his health that continues to linger even after he reappeared publicly in recent days.

North Korea had said Saturday that Kim attended the completion of a fertilizer factory near Pyongyang on Friday, in his first public appearance in about 20 days.

While North Korean video showing a smiling Kim moving around, cutting a red ribbon and smoking quelled intense rumors that he might be gravely ill or even have died, some media outlets and observers still raised questions about his health, citing moments when his walking looked a bit stiff at the factory.

A senior South Korean presidential official told reporters Sunday that the government had determined that Kim did not have surgery or any other procedure, according to the presidential Blue House. The official, whose name wasn’t disclosed by the Blue House, refused to provide the basis for the intelligence assessment.

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