Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un Reuters

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un has come down with COVID-19, according to the country’s state media.

With rumours spreading for weeks that the dictator was ailing, state newspaper Rodong Shinmun said on Tuesday that Kim "suffered in high fever in the middle of the anti-pandemic battle," Fox News reported.

"When the great leader visited the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters on the first night since the maximum emergency anti-pandemic measures have been in place, some of the officials there were already infected with the ‘malignant epidemic’," Rodong Shinmun said.

Kim’s inner circle had made references to him fighting an illness earlier in the month. His sister Kim Yo Jong also confirmed on North Korea television that her brother was battling a serious illness.

"Even though he was seriously ill with a high fever, he could not lie down for a moment thinking about the people he had to take care of until the end in the face of the anti-epidemic war," she said.

Earlier in August, North Korea began lifting pandemic emergency measures after declaring the pandemic was over.