an online media outlet run mainly by defected North Koreans, claimed that the North Korean leader had been operated on in April for cardiovascular problems and that he was recuperating in a villa in Phyongan province of North. “The reason for Kim’s urgent cardiovascular treatment was excessive smoking, obesity and fatigue,” said Daily NK, citing an unidentified North Korean source.
No confirmation of this information could be immediately obtained, but it sparked a flood of speculation. Quoting an American official, CNN reports that Washington “is studying information” that Kim Jong Un is “in serious danger after surgery”, without saying whether this “information” is in fact the article in Daily NK. “We have nothing to confirm and no particular movement has been detected in North Korea,” said a spokesperson for the Blue House, the South Korean presidency, in a statement.