National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Sunday that the U.S. was closely monitoring the situation in North Korea, following a week of rumors regarding the status of Kim Jong Un as the country’s leader.
In an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Rice was asked by Chuck Todd if she was convinced that Kim Jong Un was still the leader of his country.
“Obviously, we are watching very carefully what's happening in North Korea,” said Rice. “It's a country that we monitor with great attention.”
Rice did not rule out the possibility of Kim Jong Un being deposed, but said there was no concrete evidence regarding the North Korean leader.
“We have not seen any indications of a transfer of power at this point in North Korea that we view as definitive,” she said. “But we'll continue to watch it carefully.”
The 31-year old Kim has not been seen publicly since attending a concert on Sept. 3. He was absent from an event commemorating the anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s Workers’ Party. Various outlets have speculated his absence to be caused by everything from physical injury to illness to being removed from power.
— Dale Armbruster