Kim Jong-un didn't have surgery during public absence: official

South Korean news outlet Yonhap, citing a government official, says North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not have surgery during his absence from public life.

Kim Jong-un didn't have surgery during public absence: official

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not undergo surgery during his almost three week absence from public life, South Korean news outlet Yonhap says, citing a senior government official.

The news came as the two Koreas exchanged gunfire around the border on Sunday.

The South Korean official declined to provide reasons for believing that Kim did not undergo surgery, but said speculative reports that he may have had surgery, citing some differences in his leg movements, were not true, Yonhap reported.

Earlier on Sunday, North and South Korea exchanged gunfire around the South's 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 at 7.41am local time towards a guard post in South Korea that borders the North, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staffs (JCS) said in a statement.

South Korea responded by firing two shots towards North Korea, no injuries 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.

Kim was seen in photographs smiling and talking to aides at the ribbon-cutting ceremony and touring the plant. State TV footage showed Kim's leg movements appearing stiff and jerky.

The authenticity of the photos, published on the website of the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, could not be verified.

US President Donald Trump, who met Kim three times in 2018 and 2019 in unsuccessful attempts to persuade him to give up his nuclear weapons, tweeted on Saturday: "I, for one, am glad to see he is back, and well!"

The exchange of gunshots on Sunday was the latest confrontation between the rival Koreas that technically remain at war.

In a lengthy briefing held later on Sunday, an official at South Korea's JCS said the gunshots did not seem a planned provocation, as the area where it ocurred was farmland, but declined to provide a clear conclusion about the incident.

Choi Kang, vice president of the Asian Institute for Policy Studies, said he believed the timing of the 'grey area' provocation shows it could have been planned to show that Kim was still in charge of the North Korean military.

"Yesterday, Kim was trying to show he is perfectly healthy, and today, Kim is trying to mute all kinds of speculation that he may not have full control over the military," Choi said.

"Rather than going all the way by firing missiles and supervising a missile launch, Kim could be reminding us, 'yes I'm healthy and I'm still in power'."

Kim Jong-un visits a fertiliser plant, in his first public appearance in weeks.

Ewha University international affairs professor Leif-Eric Easley in Seoul said the shooting incident could be aimed at boosting morale in the North Korean military.

"The Kim regime may be looking to raise morale of its frontline troops and to regain any negotiating leverage lost during the rumour-filled weeks of the leader's absence," said Easley.

– Reported with AAP.

Source : 9 News More   

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'Doctors prepared my death announcement': Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered more insight into his hospitalisation for coronavirus, telling a British newspaper that he knew doctors were preparing for the worst.

'Doctors prepared my death announcement': Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered more insight into his hospitalisation for coronavirus, telling a British newspaper that he knew doctors were preparing for the worst.

The 55-year-old Mr Johnson, who spent three nights in intensive care during his week of treatment in a London hospital after falling ill with COVID-19, told The Sun newspaper he was aware that doctors were discussing his fate.

"It was a tough old moment, I won't deny it,'' he said.

"They had a strategy to deal with a 'death of Stalin'-type scenario.''

Mr Johnson couldn't believe how quickly his health had deteriorated and had difficulty understanding why he wasn't getting better.

Medical workers gave him "litres and litres of oxygen'' but he said the "indicators kept going in the wrong direction".

"But the bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my windpipe,'' he told the newspaper.

"That was when it got a bit... they were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally."

Boris Johnson Carrie Symonds son Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson

The remarks were Mr Johnson's most candid yet on his brush with death, though he acknowledged when he left the hospital that his fight to survive "could have gone either way", as he paid tribute to the two nurses who never left his bedside for 48 hours.

Jenny McGee from New Zealand and Luis Pitarma from Portugal, he said, embodied the caring and sacrifice of National Health Service staff on the front lines of the pandemic, which has already killed 28,131 people in Britain.

Mr Johnson's close call is reflected in the name that he and fiancée Carrie Symonds gave to their newborn son.

Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson was named after Mr Johnson and Symonds' grandfathers and after Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart – the two doctors who saved the prime minister's life.

Mr Johnson's actions since leaving the hospital suggest the NHS has a powerful new advocate as it seeks to reverse a decade of austerity that has left Britain's doctors and nurses struggling to treat the flood of coronavirus patients with inadequate supplies of protective gear. Dozens of NHS workers have died in the outbreak.

Coronavirus: Flattening the curve explained

The interview follows an emotional video made by Mr Johnson after being released from the hospital on April 12.

Mr Johnson called the NHS "unconquerable" and "the beating heart of this country" after seeing its response to the outbreak firsthand. He also lauded the courage of everyone from doctors to cooks.

The prime minister returned to work on April 27.

Coronavirus: what you need to know

How is coronavirus transmitted?

The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.

How can I protect myself and my family?

World Health Organisation and NSW Health both recommend basic hygiene practices as the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus.

Good hygiene includes:

  • Clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or your elbow;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
  • Apply safe food practices; and
  • Stay home if you are sick.

For breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the and set notifications to on at the or You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the  and the .

Reported with Associated Press.

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