Chinese doctors and officials traveled amid conflicting news about the North Korean leader’s health. Reuters could not immediately schedule a visit from the Chinese team for Kim’s health.
A delegation led by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department left Beijing for North Korea on Thursday, two people said. The department is the main Chinese body working with neighboring North Korea.
Given the sensitivity of the case, sources declined to be identified.
Rayson could not be contacted for comment late on Friday. China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Friday night.
Daily Seoul, a Seoul-based website, reported earlier this week that Kim was recovering after undergoing a heart procedure on April 12. It cited an anonymous source in North Korea.
The liaison department with South Korean government officials and a Chinese official challenged later reports that Kim was in grave danger after the surgery. South Korean officials said they had not found any signs of unusual activity in North Korea.
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump also dismissed earlier reports that Kim was seriously ill. “I think the report was false,” Trump told reporters, but he declined to say if he was in contact with North Korean officials.
On Friday, a South Korean source told Reuters that he had intelligence that Kim was alive and would make an appearance soon. The man said he did not comment on Kim’s current situation or any Chinese involvement.
A US Intelligence Department official reported that Kim was aware of the health problems, but had no reason to conclude that he was seriously ill or unable to reappear in public.
A US State Department spokesman did not comment. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, when asked about Kim’s health on Fox News after Trump spoke, said, “I don’t have anything that I can share with you tonight, but the American people Should know that we are watching the situation very keenly. ”
North Korea is one of the most isolated and secretive countries in the world, and the health of its leaders is regarded as a matter of state security. Reuters has not been able to independently confirm any details of Kim’s whereabouts or the situation.
North Korea’s state media last reported on Kim’s whereabouts when he chaired a meeting on 11 April. State media did not reveal whether he was present at an event on April 15 to mark the birthday of his grandfather Kim Il Sung, an important anniversary in North Korea.
Kim, who is believed to be 36 years old, has previously disappeared from coverage in the North Korean state media. In 2014, he went missing for over a month and North Korean state TV later showed him walking limp. Speculation about his health has been mooted since his family history of heavy smoking, apparent weight gain, and heart problems.
When Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, suffered trauma in 2008, South Korean media reported at the time that Chinese physicians were involved in his treatment with French physicians.
Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a state visit to North Korea for the first time in 14 years by a Chinese leader who relies on Beijing for economic and diplomatic support.
China is a major ally of North Korea and the U.N. There is an economic lifeline for a country suffering from sanctions, and a keen interest in the stability of the country with which it shares a long, porous border.
Kim is a third-generation hereditary leader who came to power in 2011 after his father Kim Jong Il suffered a heart attack. He has visited China four times since 2018.
Trump held unprecedented summits with Kim in 2018 and 2019 and as part of a bid to persuade him to give up North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.