Kim Jong-un is reported to have died over the weekend, with conflicting reports on the condition of the North Korean leader. CNN last week reported Kim was in “grave danger” following an operation on his heart, with further reports of him having died coming over the weekend.
Now, South Korea has issued a statement regarding Kim, telling CNN he is “alive and well”.
Moon Chung-in, the top foreign policy adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, told CNN: “Our government position is firm. Kim Jong Un is alive and well.
“He has been staying in the Wonsan area since 13 April.
“No suspicious movements have so far been detected.”
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Kim was last seen in public on April 11, at a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party politburo.
However, just four days later Kim was absent from the birthday celebrations for his late grandfather, state founder Kim Il-sung.
Some officials or sources have claimed Kim is dead, while others say he is in a vegetative state or coma. On Sunday it was said he is “alive and well”.
His family have a history of cardiovascular problems, and the facts Kim is a heavy smoker and has gained weight since taking power are only fuelling rumours on his health.
Who is Kim Jong-un’s son? How many children does he have?
Much about Kim Jong-un’s personal life has been kept largely quiet, with a shroud of secrecy over his children.
Kim’s wife, Ri Sol-Ju is widely reported to have had three children since the couple married in 2009.
The first, believed to be a son, was born the year after they married.
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The child’s name is unknown, and details of a possible sister, likely born in 2013, is also a secret.
The gender of the couple’s final reported child, who was reportedly born in February 2017, is completely unknown.
The dates of birth for the couple’s children are largely based on Ri withdrawing from public life for much of 2016, and in 2012.
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed Kim once said to him at a summit in Singapore he did not want his children “to carry the nuclear weapon on their back their whole life”.
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman told The Guardian he had held Kim’s daughter while on a visit to North Korea in 2013. He said her name is Ju Ae.
Who would succeed Kim Jong-un if he dies?
With the health of North Korea’s leader up in the air, who would potentially succeed Kim if he did die has been widely speculated.
Some believe it would be his sister Kim Yo-jong, who in October 2017 was promoted to head of the propaganda department of the Worker’s Party of Korea.
However, any truth in this or the health of Kim is almost impossible to discern, as Pyongyang is steeped in secrecy.
On Friday, a South Korean source told Reuters their intelligence was Kim Jong-un was alive and would likely make an appearance soon.
Experts have cautioned Kim has disappeared from state media coverage before and gathering accurate information in North Korea is notoriously difficult.
Kim, believed to be 36, vanished from state media for more than a month in 2014 and North Korean state TV later showed him walking with a limp.
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