“We have some suspicions about his [Kim Jong-un’s] health,” he told local reporters, according to The Sun.
Mr Kono said the “very strange movements” in North Korea were because Kim was “trying not to get infected,” claiming the coronavirus was “spreading around” the country.
He also claimed that Japan was exchanging information with the US and other nations relating to Jong-un’s health but did not want to “discuss intelligence issues” at the conference, according to the report.
The notoriously secretive nation has taken some extreme measures since the virus was first reported in January. It was among the first countries to seal its borders in February and automatically quarantined all foreign diplomats in Pyongyang for one month and controlled the movement of its population.
After asking for aid back in March when cases were spiking globally, experts believe the pandemic has worsened the country’s economic troubles.