President Donald Trump (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. (AFP-Yonhap)
US President Donald Trump said Thursday on Twitter that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is in “good health” and people should not “underestimate” Kim, without elaborating.
It was unclear what had prompted the remarks.
Speculation over Kim’s health was reignited here on Aug. 20 when South Korea’s National Intelligence Service told the parliamentary intelligence committee Kim had delegated some of his powers to his younger sister Kim Yo-jong.
The 36-year-old leader Kim fueled global speculation over his health in April when reports tied his disappearance from the public eye to a supposed serious illness. The South Korean government quickly downplayed the health rumors.
Meanwhile US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday he could not comment on Kim’s health.
“Well, I’ve seen the reports and the intelligence. I can’t comment on it,” he told an interview with Fox News, adding North Korea was facing a number of economic challenges and difficulties to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.
Pompeo said the best thing leader Kim could do for his people is to fully denuclearize his country, and he hoped to have a conversation with Kim to convince him to do so.
Washington and Pyongyang have seen little progress on their nuclear negotiations despite summits and working-level talks since 2018. The two sides have failed to narrow differences over denuclearization terms and sanctions relief.
By Choi Si-young (email@example.com