By Ralph R. Ortega for DailyMail.com and Associated Press
United Kingdom — Kim Jong Un is in grave danger after a surgery says, a US official with direct knowledge of the North Korean leader’s health.
Kim Jong’s alleged turn for the worse comes after he 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.
Losing the dictator could leave the nuclear power in a vulnerable position as it scrambles to replace Kim Jong.
Among those who are believed to be successors is the leader’s sister, Kim Yo-jong.
The South Korean government on Tuesday said it was looking into a CNN report about Kim’s fragile condition after surgery.
Officials from South Korea’s Unification Ministry and National Intelligence Service said they couldn’t immediately confirm the report.
CNN cited an anonymous US official who said Kim was in ‘grave danger’ after an unspecified surgery.
The Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, said it couldn’t confirm another report by Daily NK, which cited anonymous sources to report that Kim was recovering from heart surgery in the capital Pyongyang and that his condition was improving.
Speculation about Kim’s health was raised after he missed the celebration of his late grandfather and state founder Kim Il Sung on April 15.
Kim Jong had failed to attend North Korea’s annual Day of the Sun ceremony for the first time, sparking speculation about his health amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The celebration and holiday to mark the birth of his grandfather is deeply significant and Kim Jong Un has not missed it since taking power in 2011.
Neither Kim Jong Un nor his sister Kim Yo Jong, believed to be his second-in-command, attended the ceremony at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, despite many of his senior officials appearing at the wreath laying.
Pyongyang claims it has zero cases of COVID-19, but the disease is rampant in South Korea and Kim may have been advised to practice social distancing. (ia/SovereignPH.com/MailOnline)