Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

President Donald Trump said Thursday that reports suggesting North Korea’s Kim Jong Un could be incapacitated were incorrect.

“I think the report was incorrect, let me just put it that way,” Trump said when asked at a White House press briefing if he knew of Kim’s condition.

Speculation about Kim’s health first arose after his absence from the April 15 anniversary birthday celebration of North Korea’s founding father Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jong Un.

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Speculation about Kim’s health first arose after his absence from the April 15 anniversary birthday celebration of North Korea’s founding father Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jong Un.

Daily NK, a South Korean newspaper that focuses its coverage on North Korea, said late Monday that Kim on April 12 received a cardiovascular procedure at Hyangsan Hospital. The outlet also reported that Kim was recovering in a villa near the hospital.

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American officials, reported early Tuesday that Kim recently had cardiovascular surgery. Some of those officials said intelligence suggests Kim could be incapacitated.

However, this contradicts South Korea’s presidential office, which told the outlet that Kim “is currently touring provincial areas with his close aides and we do not detect evidence to support speculation about his ill health.”

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North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un watches a military drill marking the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People’s Army (KPA).
KCNA | Reuters

Kim Jong Un was put forward as the “Great Successor” in 2009 and was made a four-star general the following year. His father, Kim Jong Il, died in 2011 and was believed to be about 70 years old at the time of his death. As planned, Kim took over and was probably around 28 years old.

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