Diplomat in Pyongyang Says Kim at Airport, All Normal With AM-North Korea-Kim, Bjt
Nov. 18, 1986
PEKING (AP) _ A diplomat contacted in Pyongyang said Tuesday that North Korean President Kim Il Sung was in ''absolutely good health'' when he greeted an arriving Mongolian delegation at the Pyongyang airport.
The Asian diplomat, contacted by telephone by The Associated Press office in Peking, said, ''The president was there and he is in absolutely good health.''
''There seems to be nothing correct about these reports (Sunday from South Korea that Kim had been killed or deposed)'' the diplomat said. ''It is absolutely normal, there is nothing wrong, he is absolutely normal, he is in good health.''
The diplomat spoke with the condition he not be identified by name or nationality.
He was asked about a report by the South Korean Defense Ministry as saying loudspeakers along the North Korean side of the demilitarized zone reported that Kim had been removed in a coup led by North Korean Defense Minister O Jin U.
The diplomat said he did not see O or Kim's son and heir apparent, Kim Jong Il, at the airport ceremony in the North Korean capital.
''Everything is normal, there is nothing wrong, there are no signs of mourning, the president is alive in excellent health,'' the diplomat said.
In Peking, the first secretary at the North Korean Embassy, Kang So Yong, was asked about O and he said, ''He's the defense minister, nothing more. He's a member of the Supreme Presidium. Don't believe what the South Korean ministry says.''