Asia-PacificKoreaNorth America

N Korea’s Kim makes first public appearance in weeks: KCNA

North Korea’s official news agency says the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has made his first public appearance in more than 20 days, something that had prompted Western media outlets to wildly speculate about his health condition.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Saturday that Kim had inaugurated a fertilizer plant in a region lying north of the capital Pyongyang.

He was accompanied by several senior North Korean officials, including his younger sister Kim Yo Jong, who is one of Kim’s closest confidantes, the agency added.

His last public appearance that was reported by the state media took place on April 11, when he presided over a meeting.

Prior to the KCNA report, NK PRO — a website that monitors North Korea — had also said that satellite images of the movements of boats often used by the North Korean leader and his entourage suggested that he had been staying at the country’s coastal resort town of Wonsan over the recent weeks.

Reuters, meanwhile, cited “a source familiar with US intelligence analyses and reporting” as saying earlier that US agencies believed that Kim was not seriously ill and that “he still very much remains in power.” “We think he’s still in charge,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

Anti-Pyongyang media outlets had, however, been seizing on the opportunity to spread unverified accounts about Kim’s condition and even comment about who should be succeeding him.

Back to top button