Korea’s KCNA agency claims premier, Kim Jong-un made a public appearance, After Weeks of Health Rumors

KCNA reported that Kim cut a ribbon at the ceremony on Friday and those attending the event “burst into thunderous cheers of ‘hurrah!’ for the Supreme Leader who is commanding the all-people general march for accomplishing the great cause of prosperity.”

North Korean state media published pictures Saturday of leader Kim Jong Un making his first public appearance in nearly three weeks, following intense speculation that he was seriously ill or possibly dead.

The images from the Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed Kim attending a ceremony at a fertiliser factory on Friday in Sunchon, near the capital Pyongyang, along with other senior officials including his sister and close adviser Kim Yo Jong.

Reuters could not independently verify the KCNA report.

Kim expressed satisfaction about the production system of the fertilizer factory, saying the plant made significant contribution for the progress of the country’s chemical industry and food production, KCNA said.

Kim was accompanied by several senior North Korean officials, including his younger sister Kim Yo Jong, KCNA said.

U.S. President Donald Trump said after the KCNA report that he will have something to say about Kim at the appropriate time.

There has been speculation about Kim’s health after he missed the birth anniversary celebrations of state founder Kim Il Sung on April 15. 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.

Earlier, a source familiar with U.S. intelligence analyses and reporting said that U.S. agencies believed that Kim Jong Un is 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.

The source could not immediately confirm the KCNA report.

The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Arab Observer

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