President Donald Trump touched on the rumors about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's health during his Monday press conference on the coronavirus pandemic. Trump, who is the first U.S. president to meet a North Korean leader while still in office, said he has a "very good idea" about Kim's health but could not go into details. Trump's comments earned a divided response from social media users.
There has been nonstop speculation about Kim's health for almost two weeks. He has not been seen in public since April 11. Kim also missed an April 15 event celebrating the birthday of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, the founder of the country. Daily NK, a South Korean website that focuses on North Korea, reported Kim had a cardiovascular system procedure on April 12. Several outlets reported the procedure did not go well, with some claiming he was in a vegetative state or even dead. None of the reports could be independently confirmed by Western media. According to Reuters, a Chinese medical team was sent to North Korea on Thursday to assess Kim's health.
South Korean officials have dismissed the rumors Kim is dead or not well. "Our government position is firm," said Chung-in Moon, an aide to South Korean president Moon Jae-in, told Fox News Sunday. "Kim Jong-un is alive and well. He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected." On Monday, government sources told the Washington Post that U.S. officials are also skeptical of the reports about Kim's health.
Why the intrigue?? You either know or you don’t. You sound like a 13 year old teenager drumming up drama.— Linda Rickel (@RickelLinda) April 27, 2020
"Kim Jong-un? I can't tell you exactly. Yes, I do have a very good idea, but I can't talk about it now," Trump told reporters Monday at the White House. "I just wish him well... I hope he's fine. I do know how he's doing, relatively speaking. We will see. You will probably be hearing in the not-too-distant future."
Trump claims to have a 'good idea' of the state of Kim Jong-Un's health (psst, so do the rest of us). He just doesn't have any idea of when we'll get sufficient and reliable tests for Covid-19. "That's a very rude question, and fake news!"— richard j. brenner #Resist! (@rjb14) April 28, 2020
Trump is the first sitting U.S. president to meet with a North Korean leader in person. The two first met in Singapore in June 2018, then again for another summit in Vietnam in February 2019. Kim and Trump met again in June 2019 at the Korean Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.
Dude still thinks he's on a reality TV show and he's closing today's episode with a cliffhanger. #GodHelpUs— Lili Moore-Coffin (@laughrodite4u) April 27, 2020
Well does he have a good idea or is he hoping? Which is it?— Kevin (@kevin8seven) April 27, 2020
I bet he’s in the dark like everybody else.— Emmanuel Akpabio (@YemandiAkpabio) April 27, 2020
Because in a health crisis Kim would be compelled to call trump. They are tight. Why wouldn't he call his bud. But they pinky swore not to tell. Makes sense— Kelly Robinson (@KellyRo85127990) April 27, 2020