The U.S. military believes North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is in “full control” of his country’s military and nuclear capabilities, in spite of reports that he is gravely ill.
Pentagon Joint Chiefs Vice Chair Gen. John Hyten said he had no intelligence to “confirm or deny” reports of the leader’s health.
“I assume that Kim Jong Un is still in full control of the Korean nuclear forces and Korean military forces,” Hyten told reporters.
“I have no reason not to assume that.”
On Tuesday, U.S. media reported that the communist leader, who is thought to be 36 years old, was unwell following heart surgery and was receiving treatment.
On Wednesday, North Korean state media did not discuss Kim’s current whereabouts or recent public appearances.
The communist leadership in Pyongyang tightly controls information about Kim and his family.
The office of South Korean President Moon Jae In could not confirm reports of Kim’s alleged ill health initially reported by U.S. broadcaster CNN, saying there was no indication that Kim was suffering serious health problems.
CNN cited an intelligence source as saying that Kim is “in grave danger after a surgery.”
The South Korea-based online newspaper Daily NK, which specialises in news from North Korea, had previously reported that Kim had undergone heart surgery on April 12 and was recovering at a villa.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he did not know whether the reports about Kim’s illness were accurate, but wished him good health.