Kim Jong Un may have left the capital of Pyongyang and could be sheltering in an undisclosed location on North Korea’s eastern coast, according to multiple reports, UPI reported Friday.
The dictator’s absence triggered speculation about his health this week, following reports he was in critical condition after heart surgery.
Kim may have been evacuated to the coastal city of Wonsan, Kangwon Province, where he may have been overseeing construction of a major resort, the South Korean news service Newsis reported Friday.
Newsis said movement by Kim’s “dedicated vehicles” suggested he may have been evacuated from Pyongyang.
A special train for Kim’s use was stationed in Wonsan, but Kim’s private plane remained in Pyongyang, the report says.
Speculation in South Korea media suggested he was staying out of Pyongyang as a precaution against catching coronavirus.
The Hermit Kingdom only admitted this week that the country had cases of coronavirus.
South Korea has said it sees no signs that Kim has lost his grip on power, but the US says it has a plan if he does.
President Trump pushed back on a report that Kim is gravely ill — but didn’t say if he had been in contact with the North Korean leader.
“I think the report was incorrect,” the president said during Thursday’s daily White House briefing, adding that he had heard it was based on “old documents.”