Islamic State militants have released what appears to be an audio recording of their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the BBC reports.
A speaker who sounds like the IS leader seems to refer to recent North Korean threats against Japan and the US.
He also talks of battles for IS strongholds like Mosul, which was regained by Iraqi forces in July.
Baghdadi, who has a $25m US bounty on his head, has not been seen in public since July 2014, leading to much speculation about his fate.
The last time he appeared was to preach at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul after IS overran the city and a “caliphate” was proclaimed.
Asked about the audio, a spokesman for US forces fighting IS, Ryan Dillon, said “without verifiable evidence of his death, we have continued to assume that he is alive”.