President Donald Trump stated during the White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing on Monday that he knows the health status of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
“I can’t tell you, exactly,” Trump told reporters when asked. “Yes, I do have a very good idea, but I can’t talk about it now. I just wish him well.”
“I hope he’s fine, I do know how he’s doing relatively speaking,” Trump continued. “You will probably be hearing in the not too distant future.”
Later, when asked about a statement that Kim reportedly made over the weekend, Trump responded, “Kim Jong Un made a statement on Saturday? I don’t think so.”
The news comes as the administration has been silent on the rumors that Kim is dealing with a serious health situation.
CNN reported last week:
The US is monitoring intelligence that suggests North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is in grave danger after undergoing a previous surgery, according to a US official with direct knowledge.
A second source familiar with the intelligence told CNN that the US has been closely monitoring reports on Kim’s health.
Kim recently missed the celebration of his grandfather’s birthday on April 15, which raised speculation about his well-being. He had been seen four days before that at a government meeting.
Since CNN’s report was published, a variety of rumors and claims have circulated online ranging from theories that is he is fine and is isolating himself due to a coronavirus outbreak in North Korea to theories that he is in a vegetative state.
On Saturday night, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News’ host Jeanine Pirro that he thinks Kim is either incapacitated or dead.
“Well, it’s a closed society, I don’t know anything directly,” Graham said. “But I’d be shocked if he’s not dead or in some incapacitated state because you don’t let rumors like this go forever or go unanswered in a closed society, which is really a cult, not a country, called North Korea.”
“So I pretty well believe he is dead or incapacitated,” Graham continued. “And I hope the long-suffering North Korean people will get some relief if he is dead, and President Trump’s willing to do business with North Korea in a win-win fashion. So, if this guy is dead, I hope the next person who takes over will work with President Trump to make North Korea a better place for everybody.”
Foreign affairs expert and Asia analyst Gordon Chang told Fox News on Monday: “I don’t think the South Korean government is right when they say he is alive and well. He very well may be alive, but the ‘well’ part of it is, I think, subject to question largely because this regime acts in patterns and when these patterns are broken, we know that something has occurred.”
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