Taiwan’s intelligence chief said Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “sick” — and his country has emergency plans for a potential power struggle if he dies, according to reports.
Chiu Kuo-cheng, the director of the National Security Bureau (NSB), gave a vague health description when pressed at a government hearing about rumors of Kim’s possible death, according to Taiwan News.
He merely laughed and refused to reply when asked if that meant the Hermit Kingdom’s leader was indeed alive, the report said.
“My answer is from the intelligence that is available and it is not an opinion,” Chiu told lawmakers, according to the Taipei Times.
He refused to elaborate, citing the need to protect the intelligence service’s sources in North Korea, the report said.
He assured legislators that contingency plans were in place ready for a potential power struggle in the region if the North Korean leader did succumb, according to the reports.
However, his deputy, Hu Mu-yuan, later insisted that their intelligence was “unable to confirm the status of Kim Jong Un’s health,” the paper said.
“From what we know, Kim is still in charge and in control of North Korea’s military and its government,” Hu said, according to the Taipei Times.