(NEW YORK POST) – North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, rumored for weeks to be deathly ill or even dead, has made his first public appearance in 20 days, North and South Korean media reported Friday.
Few details were immediately available, but if true, the appearance would belie rumors of Kim’s death following surgery.
The South’s Yonhap News Agency reported that Kim attended a Saturday morning ceremony for the completion of a fertilizer plant in Suncheon, South Pyongan Province.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency also said Kim attended the ceremony with other senior officials, including his sister, Kim Yo-jong, who many analysts predicted would take over if her brother is suddenly unable to rule.
It is his first reported public sighting since he was last seen on April 11 presiding over a political bureau meeting of the ruling Workers Party.
Since then, he missed events commemorating the 108th birthday of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, on April 15, sparking the speculation about his well-being.
Other reports said he was in Wonsan, staying away from Pyongyang over fears of contracting coronavirus.
Without publishing images, state media has reported he was carrying out routine activities outside public view, such as sending greetings to the leaders of Syria, Cuba and South Africa.