Ever since Kim Jong-un failed to show up to the birth anniversary celebrations of state founder Kim Il-sung on April 15, speculations over the dictator’s health spread. The day is a major holiday in North Korea and Kim as leader usually pays a visit to the mausoleum where his grandfather lies in state. Last Friday, Japanese and Chinese media reported the North Korean leader had died or was in a vegetative state after botched heart surgery.
Is Kim Jong-un alive?
Kim has reportedly made his first public appearance for 20 days, North Korean state media said on Friday.
KCNA, North Korea’s state news agency said on Saturday Kim attended the completion of a fertiliser plant in a region north of the capital, Pyongyang.
This is the first report of his public activity since April 11.
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According to KCNA, the 36-year-old supreme leader cut the ribbon at the opening of a fertiliser factory.
The report added people at the factory “broke into thunderous cheers of hurrah” when he appeared.
Kim was accompanied by several senior North Korean officials, including his younger sister Kim Yo Jong, KCNA said.
His last appearance took place on April 11 at a Workers’ Party Politburo meeting.
US President Donald Trump said after the KCNA report he will have something to say about Kim at the appropriate time.
Earlier, a source familiar with US intelligence analyses and reporting said US agencies believed the North Korean leader is not seriously ill and that he still very much remains in power.
A source said on condition of anonymity that they believe “he’s still in charge” but could not immediately confirm the KCNA report.
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