North Korean leader reportedly had cardiovascular surgery, was last seen April 11
Kim Jong-un’s disappearance from the public eye has raised speculation about the North Korean leader’s health as well as who would take over should anything happen to him.
North Korea is one of the world’s most isolated and secretive countries, and the health of its leaders is treated as a matter of state security. Reuters has not been able to independently confirm any details on Kim’s whereabouts or condition.
Kim, believed to be 36, has disappeared from coverage in North Korean state media before. In 2014, he vanished for more than a month and North Korean state TV later showed him walking with a limp. Speculation about his health has been fanned by his heavy smoking, apparent weight gain since taking power and family history of cardiovascular problems.
Here is what we know — and don’t know — about Kim’s health:
When was Kim last seen?
North Korea’s state media last reported on Kim’s whereabouts when he presided over a meeting on April 11. According to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency, he discussed coronavirus prevention at the meeting and elected his sister, Kim Yo-jong, as an alternate member of the political bureau of the ruling Workers’ Party.
Questions about Kim Jong-un’s health flared after he skipped an April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of his late grandfather, North Korea founder Kim Il-sung. Kim hadn’t missed the event since inheriting power from his father, Kim Jong-il, in late 2011.