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North Korea's Kim did not have surgery, South says, as shots fired at DMZ


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not undergo surgery during almost three weeks of absence from public life, a South Korean official said on Sunday, as the two Koreas exchanged gunfire at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two sides. The government official declined to provide reasons, but said speculative reports that Kim had had an operation, citing some differences in his leg movements, were untrue. “Our assessment is that (Kim) did not undergo surgery,” the official, who declined to be identified, told reporters. Asked if media reports of Kim having undergone a simple medical treatment were also untrue, the official simply said: “Yes.”

North and South Korea exchanged gunfire around a rural guard post, raising tension a day after North Korean state media showed Kim visiting a factory, the first report of him making a public appearance since April 11. Multiple gunshots were fired from North Korea towards a guard post in South Korea, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staffs (JCS) said in a statement. South Korea responded by firing two shots towards North Korea, the JCS said. No casualties were reported. After weeks of intense speculation about Kim’s health and whereabouts, which included one report he had undergone cardiovascular surgery, North Korea’s official media published photographs and a report on Saturday that Kim had attended the completion of a fertiliser plant.

3 May 2020

News Source Reuters

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