Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul told a closed-door
forum in Seoul that South Korea has “enough intelligence to confidently
say that there are no unusual developments” in rival North Korea that would back up speculation about Mr Kim’s health, his ministry said on
Monday [local time].
The minister would not reveal at Sunday’s forum what specific intelligence led to that conclusion, but
he stressed that it was reached after a thorough analysis….
The rumours about Kim’s health began to swirl after he
missed the April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of his grandfather, North Korea founder Kim Il-sung.
Kim is the third generation of his family to rule North Korea, and he hadn’t missed the event, one of the most important in the North, since
assuming power after his father, Kim Jong-il, died in late 2011.
North Korea’s state media has since made no mention of Kim’s health or his public activities, though they said he had received some messages of greeting from foreign countries.
On Monday, North Korea’s state TV said Kim sent his thanks to workers and officials at a tourist resort construction site on the east coast.