North Korean media silent on Kim's whereabouts as speculation on health rages
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean state media made no mention on Wednesday of new appearances by leader Kim Jong Un, a day after intense international speculation over his health was sparked by his absence from a major celebration last week. South Korean and Chinese officials and sources familiar with U.S.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean state media made no mention on Wednesday of new appearances by leader Kim Jong Un, a day after intense international speculation over his health was sparked by his absence from a major celebration last week.
South Korean and Chinese officials and sources familiar with U.S. intelligence have cast doubt on reports that Kim is gravely ill after a cardiovascular procedure, while the White House said it was closely monitoring the matter.
Speculation about Kim's health first arose due to his absence from the anniversary of the birthday of North Korea's founding father and Kim's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, on April 15.
North Korea's official KCNA news agency and the ruling party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, have given no indication of his whereabouts in routine dispatches since then, but said he had sent birthday gifts to prominent citizens.
On Wednesday, the main headlines from KCNA included pieces on sports equipment, mulberry picking, and a meeting in Bangladesh to study North Korea's "juche" or self-reliance ideology.
Rodong Sinmun, meanwhile, carried articles on a self-sufficient economy, and anti- Coronavirus measures.
On Tuesday, South Korea's presidential Blue House said there were no unusual signs from North Korea, while U.S. President Donald Trump said the reports of Kim's ill health had not been confirmed and he did not give them much credence.
North Korea experts have cautioned that hard facts about Kim's condition are elusive, but said his unprecedented absence from major celebrations for his grandfather's birthday last week signals that something may have gone awry.
Reporting from inside North Korea is notoriously difficult, especially on matters concerning its leadership, given tight controls on information. There have been past false reports regarding its leaders in the past.
(Reporting by Josh Smith, Sangmi Cha, and Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Rockets hit near U.S. forces and contractors in Iraq on Wednesday, including an air base north of Baghdad and a military base at Baghdad International Airport, the Iraqi army and security officials said. The army reported at least three rockets hit Balad air base, where U.S
By Silvia Ognibene and Silvia Aloisi FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) -Italian police have arrested a Chinese couple accused of running a leather goods business which exploited immigrant workers it employed to make handbags for a Burberry supplier, according to an arrest warrant seen by Reuters. Tax police in Florence said in a statement that the two Chinese nationals were arrested on Wednesday as part of an investigation into alleged labour exploitation and tax fraud and that restrictive measures had been imposed on two other family members, including a ban on them leaving Italy
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday blacklisted four Nicaraguans, including a daughter of President Daniel Ortega, as Washington warned it would continue to use diplomatic and economic tools against members of the leftist government engaged in repression. The U.S. State Department called on Ortega to release detained presidential candidates as well as other civil society and opposition leaders arrested over the past week in what Washington called "an increasing wave of repression." "There are costs for those who are complicit in the regime's repression.