US hasn't seen Kim Jong-un but closely watching regime: Mike Pompeo - The Statesman

US hasn’t seen Kim Jong-un but closely watching regime: Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Photo: AFP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said that the country has had no sightings of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un amid intense speculation that he may be seriously unwell, but continues to monitor what is happening inside the regime.

The Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency quoted Pompeo as saying in a Fox News interview that he didn’t have much to add to what President Donald Trump said regarding Kim’s health.

“We haven’t seen him,” Pompeo said.


“We don’t have any information to report today. We’re watching it closely, keeping track of what’s going on not only around Chairman Kim himself, but more broadly inside of North Korea.”

Pompeo also noted the risk to North Koreans from COVID-19, while communist regime has insisted it has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but many suspect it may be covering up an outbreak.

“There is a real risk that there will be a famine, a food shortage inside of North Korea, too,” Pompeo was quoted by the Yonhap News Agency as saying in the interview.

“We’re watching each of those things closely because they have a real impact on our mission set, which (is) to ultimately denuclearize North Korea.”

Addressing to the White House on Monday, President Trump said: “I do have a very good idea, but I can’t talk about it now. I just wish him well. I’ve had a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un.

But Trump later added: “Nobody knows where he is.”

The North Korean leader was gravely ill following heart surgery. China had dispatched a team to North Korea to advise on Kim’s health.

“Kim had been staying in Wonsan since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected.” said the adviser. Wonsan is a resort town in the country’s east.

Pyongyang marked the birthday of its late founder, Kim’s grandfather Kim Il Sung, on April 15 — by far the most important date in its annual political calendar. Kim was not seen in attendance, raising speculations about his health.

Earlier this week, the North Korean leader was gravely ill following heart surgery.

On April 23, US President Trump rejected reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was ailing and criticized his frequent nemesis CNN for running the story.

Trump’s denial of the report came two days after he declined to comment, saying only that he wished Kim well.

In North Korea it is notoriously difficult for journalists to  report, especially regarding anything to do with its leadership, which is among its most closely guarded secrets.

Earlier, in 2014 he dropped out of sight for nearly six weeks before reappearing with a cane. Days later, the South’s spy agency said he had undergone surgery to remove a cyst from his ankle.

The North Korean leader Kim Jong- Un is the Supreme leader of North Korea after he took over in 2011 when his father and late leader Kim Jong-il died.