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King Harald V of Norway with Queen Sonja at Prince Haakon's birthday party in August 2023.

Photo: Hanna Johre/dpa

Norway's King Harald has had a temporary pacemaker implanted at a hospital in Malaysia.

The reason for this was a low heart rate, the palace said.

"The decision was made today and the procedure was successful." The king is doing well under the circumstances, but he still needs rest.

The operation was intended to make the journey home safer.

It was said that the king could probably return in a few days.

The 87-year-old monarch is spending a private vacation in the Southeast Asian country.

Health problems for many years

The Norwegian head of state uses crutches and has repeatedly struggled with health problems in recent years.

He had heart surgery and suffered from repeated respiratory infections.

The Norwegian royal family recently announced at the end of January that the king was on sick leave for several days due to a respiratory infection and would be represented during this time by his son, 50-year-old Crown Prince Haakon.

Harald V, who has been King of Norway for 33 years, rejected speculation about an abdication in January.

"I stick to what I have always said, that I swore an oath to the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament) and it is for life," he said in Oslo.

The reason for these sentences was that Harald's distant cousin, the 83-year-old Danish Queen Margrethe II, had recently abdicated.