location of Kim Jong-un: South Korean officials said on Tuesday, April 28, that they know the location of Kim Jong-un.
The remarks from the officials came about two weeks after the North Korean leader disappeared from public view.
“The government is aware of Kim Jong-un’s location,” said Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul when asked directly in a parliamentary session. However, the minister did not elaborate on the 36-year-old’s whereabouts.
Meanwhile, when Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha was asked if Seoul informed US President Donald Trump about Kim’s whereabouts and condition, she said the Republican was in constant touch with South Korean officials and “should have been notified.” However, she later clarified that Trump only knows about North Korea’s supreme leader’s condition but not his location.
This comes after Trump in a press briefing on Monday, April 27, revealed that he knew the current health status of the North Korean leader but cannot tell. He also said that the rest of the world would-be hearing additional details “in the not-too-distant future” but he deterred himself from giving away any more details.
“I can’t tell you, exactly — yes, I do have a very good idea, but I can’t talk about it now. I just wish him well,” the US leader said.
Besides, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien clarified that the Trump administration was keeping eye on any developments regarding Kim. “We’re monitoring these reports very closely. As you know, North Korea is a very closed society. There’s not a free press there. They’re parsimonious with the information they provide about many things, including the health of Kim Jong-un,” O’Brien said.
Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, also shared that the US government is “watching the situation very keenly”.
The news of Kim’s supposed death spread widely on Saturday, April 25, after Japanese and Chinese media reports. The despot has not been seen publicly since April 11. He was also absent from the celebration of the republic’s 88th anniversary.
Some reports also claimed that the leader’s train had been at a halt for several days which added to the speculation. Satellite images of the train have also been released by the 38 North, a website that specializes in North Korean studies, which claimed that the train believed to belong to Kim has not been moving since at least April 21. The train has been parked at the Leadership Railway Station.
“The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health, but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast,” it was said.
North Korean media, however, has been strangely silent about the rumors and continuously publishing old (or undated) statements from Kim about the country’s economy and other topics in a bid to show everything is fine in the East Asian region. On Monday, April 27, the state’s media published a purported letter of Kim in which he congratulated South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Freedom Day.
According to The Korean Central News Agency, the letter was dated April 27, 2020, however, CNN said that it had no way of independently verifying its authenticity. The unverified letter was addressed to Ramaphosa in which the Hermit Kingdom’s leader expressed his belief that the two country’s friendship would incessantly expand and develop.