South Korea is playing down US media reports suggesting that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is seriously ill after undergoing a cardiovascular procedure. China, the North’s closest ally, has also denied the claims. There had been rumours circulating about Mr Kim’s well-being after he was not seen at the April 15 anniversary event to honour the birthday of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, who is also the country’s founder. Mr Kim was last seen in public in the North’s state media on April 11, when he presided over a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party.
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