China has sent a delegation of government officials and medical professionals to the neighboring country amid rumors about the health status of North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un. Several people told Reuters today that the delegation, headed by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department, left Beijing on Thursday. The department is the main Chinese body dealing with neighboring North Korea.
A website based in the South Korean capital of Seoul had reported earlier this week that Kim had been operated on for cardiovascular problems. CNN, the news channel, citing a US government official, said Washington was following intelligence information that Kim was in danger after an operation. A South Korean source, on the other hand, told Reuters that Kim was alive and likely to show up again soon.
North Korea has so far been silent on speculation that is boiling internationally. Kim had surprisingly not attended a traditional event on April 15th to mark the birthday of his grandfather, North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994.