National Security Advisor Confirms White House ‘Closely’ Monitoring Kim Jong Un’s Health — Says Successor Will Likely Be In The ‘Family’


President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien confirmed Tuesday morning that the White House is “closely” monitoring reports regarding the health of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

O’Brien, speaking during an interview on Fox News, noted that “North Korea is a very closed society, there is not a free press there,” before adding U.S. intelligence agencies are still reviewing reports on Kim’s health. (RELATED: Kim Jong Un Promises ‘Christmas Surprise’)

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 01: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the press briefing room flanked Attorney General William Barr (3rd L), Defense Secretary Mark Esper (3rd R), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley (2nd R), National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien (2nd L) and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday (R) April 1, 2020 in Washington, DC. After announcing yesterday that COVID-19 could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans, the Trump administration is also contending with the economic effects of the outbreak as the stock market continues to fall, businesses remain closed, and companies lay off and furlough employees. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“We’re keeping a close eye on developments in North Korea as we are with other parts of the world,” he said.


He also told reporters gathered at the White House that the “basic assumption” regarding Kim’s successor would be someone within his family.

“Again, it’s too early to talk about that,” O’Brien continued. “We don’t know what condition Chairman Kim is in, and we’ll have to see how it plays out.”


CNN first reported Monday night that Kim was in “grave danger” after a surgery. He had not been seen publicly in more than a week and notably skipped the April 15 birthday celebration for his late grandfather, Kim Il Sung. Reuters later reported that South Korean government officials pushed back on CNN’s report.

News coming out of North Korea is notoriously difficult to verify.