'We haven’t seen him': Pompeo says no sign of Kim Jong Un


United States officials "haven't seen" North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, reported Reuters.

The North Korea monitoring website NK PRO has published commercial satellite imagery showing Mr Kim's boats near Wonsan, and moving in patterns that suggested he or his entourage may be in the area.

South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul suggested Kim Jong-un made a decision to skip the anniversary celebration of his grandfather's birth because of the coronavirus pandemic, but since the regime does not want to admit it has a pandemic, the dictator chose to disappear without explanation.

Last week, the US -based North Korea monitoring organization 38 North, also reported on satellite images of what experts believe to be Mr. Kim's personal train located at a station used for the compound.

South Korean and US officials skeptical that Kim was ill said he may be sheltering in the compound to avoid the new coronavirus, according to Reuters.

After the non-public appearance of Kim from April 15, there was news in foreign media that he was seriously ill.

During Il's stay overseas, he worked in diplomatic positions in several countries where North Korea has interests including Poland, Hungary, Finland, Bulgaria, and Czech Republic.

They caution, however, that Kim's health and location are closely guarded secrets and reliable information is hard to obtain in North Korea.

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Pompeo, who traveled four times to Pyongyang in 2018, declined to speculate on Kim's health and said that he had met much of the North Korean leadership including Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong - seen as a key player in the event of succession.

The leader owns a khaki coloured train that is reportedly so heavily armoured that it requires two engines to pull it at 37mph through the unstable North Korean railway tracks.

Due to it being difficult to obtain reliable media reports from North Korea it is hard to know for certain if the dictator is dead or alive.

"There is a real risk that there will be a starvation, a food shortage, inside of North Korea too", he added.

Pompeo said at a State Department news conference later that the USA would continue to pursue President Trump's stalled efforts to persuade the Hermit Kingdom to give up its nukes "no matter what transpires there", referring to a possible change in leadership. Only Kim uses it.

The totalitarian state, which prides itself on self-reliance, was ravaged in the 1990s by a starvation estimated to have killed at least hundreds of thousands of people.

"We're watching each of those things closely, as they have a real impact on our mission set, which is to ultimately denuclearize North Korea". One minister said Kim could just be self-isolating to avoid catching the coronavirus.