While North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s public appearance has put an end to all speculations over his health being in danger after an operation, South Korea has said that its assessment is that Kim never underwent the surgery. A local South Korean media outlet, Yonhap has cited an unnamed senior official at the Blue House saying that despite the conflicting media reports about Kim based on “difference to his walk”, the officials in South Korea “have reasons to believe that there was no surgery”. However, the unidentified official further added, “but cannot disclose such details”.
Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s public appearance was broadcasted by media after nearly being absent for 20 days leading to intense speculation about his health. On May 1, Kim was spotted smiling and walking around the factory facilities at a ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer factory near Pyongyang.
Speculations over the condition of Kim’s health and his sudden lack of public appearances grew intense when an American media cited US intelligence monitoring North Korea to claim that Kim was in “grave danger” after cardiovascular surgery. However, hours after that report sent shock waves, two government sources of international media outlet from South Korea said on April 21 that he was "not gravely ill".
On the military upfront, South Korea has said that North and South troops exchanged fire on May 3 along the tense land border. According to reports, this was the first such incident between troops from both sides since they took unforeseen steps in late 2018 and lowered the friction on the front-line. According to reports, the world’s most heavily armed border, several violent confrontations have taken place occasionally but the recent exchange of artilleries implies that the tensions between both, North and South Korea are persistent. However, the incident did not result in any deaths in South Korea and reportedly observers have said the situation will not escalate further.
(Image Source: AP)