No evidence North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is gravely ill, report

During his time in office President Trump has attempted to convince the North Korean regime to abandon nuclear aspirations

Updated: April 21, 2020 - 8:00am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Officials say they have no evidence that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is gravely ill after surgery, according to a news report Tuesday morning.

The report by The Washington Post follows a breaking news alert late Monday that Kim was ill after surgery last month.

The Post reports there is no evidence of unusual activity in the isolated country, after the unconfirmed reports on Kim's poor health. The unconfirmed reports are in part base upon Kim not been seen public in recent weeks. 

Late Monday night, South Korea's Unification Ministry and National Intelligence Service, which handles relations with its northern neighbor, said it was aware of reports about Kim and couldn’t immediately confirm reports by CNN that he was in "grave" condition or by the Daily NK that Kim was recovering from heart surgery but improving, according to The Associated Press.

Speculation has swirled since Kim did not attend a celebration on April 15 for his grandfather's birthday and has not been seen in state media since April 11, according to CNN.

During his time in office President Trump has attempted to build rapport with the authoritarian leader and to persuade him to abandon his nuclear weapons program.

In 2019 Trump became the first sitting president to set foot in the DMZ, the zone separating the two Koreas since their war more than a half century ago. In both 2018 and 2019, the president also met with Kim at summits.