UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that he had “no information” about the health of Kim Jong Un, amid unconfirmed reports that the North Korean leader is unwell.
Guterres was responding to a question on whether any UN official had spoken to any North Korean official about the health and whereabouts of Kim.
“We have no information about the situation of Kim Jong Un,” Guterres said during a virtual press briefing.
There have been unconfirmed reports that Kim is not in good health. The rumours began after he missed the April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of his grandfather, North Korea founder Kim II Sung.
North Korea has not dispelled the rumours of ill health of its ruler.
According to reports, citing satellite images, a train likely belonging to Kim has been parked in his compound on the country’s east coast for a week.
US President Donald Trump has said he has a “very good idea” about the status of Kim but he cannot talk about it.
“I can’t tell you exactly – yes, I do have a very good idea but I can’t talk about it now. I just wish him well,” Trump told reporters at a White House news conference Monday.
The UN chief also said the US and China were “absolutely vital” countries in the international community and their contribution to fight the COVID-19 as well as in development of international relations was “absolutely essential”, amid mounting tensions between Washington and Beijing in the wake of the pandemic.
“It is clear for me that the US and China are two extremely important elements in the international community both from the economic dimension, from the political dimension, from the military dimension. These are two absolutely vital countries,” he said
The contribution of China and the United States to fight the COVID-19, and all other aspects in the development of international relations is “absolutely essential”, he said.
Trump has lashed out at China over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far killed 229,447 people across the world and infected more than three million people.
In a interview on Wednesday, Trump said he believed China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic was proof that Beijing “will do anything they can” to make him lose his re-election bid in November.
Slamming Beijing for failing to contain the novel coronavirus at its origin, Trump said the virus outbreak “should have been stopped at the source, which was China. It should have been stopped very much at the source, but it wasn’t. And now we have 184 countries going through hell.”
The US has also accused China of covering up the extent of its coronavirus outbreak.
China has denied it and accused the US of attempting to divert the public attention by insinuating that the virus originated from a Wuhan lab.