South Korea maintains Kim Jong Un health rumors are untrue

SEOUL: South Korea’s government has dismissed rumors that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in fragile condition, as speculation about his health intensifies amid the North’s silence on his whereabouts.

There are concerns, particularly in Seoul and Washington, about what would happen to North Korea and its nuclear program if anything actually happened to Kim.

For South Korea and the US, Kim’s absence would mean the departure of a man they’ve dealt with over the past two years to try to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization, though talks have stalled in recent months.

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 Kim’s health, his ministry said Monday.