Dispelling rumors of his death or overthrow, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has appeared in public for the first time in 20 days, according to Yonhap News Agency.
Kim Jong Un, the 36-year-old leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) dispelled weeks of Western rumors that he had died or been overthrown, appearing at a public ceremony on April 30 in the industrial city of Sunchon.
Citing a report by Chosun Central Broadcasting, a DPRK state television station, Seoul-based Yonhap reported early Saturday morning that on Thursday, Kim attended the completion ceremony of a fertilizer plant in Sunchon, an industrial city of roughly 300,000 just north of Pyongyang.
“Our party, the Supreme Commander of the People’s Republic of Korea, and comrade Kim Jong Un, the leading leader of the country’s armed forces, attended the completion ceremony,” the report continued.
AP Photo / Ahn Young-joonPeople watch a TV showing a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 2, 2020. Kim made his first public appearance in several weeks as he celebrated the completion of a fertilizer factory near Pyongyang, state media said Saturday, ending an absence that had triggered global rumors that he was seriously ill. The sign reads: “Kim Jong Un attended a ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer factory.”
When reporters asked US President Donald Trump about Kim’s surfacing, he reportedly said he didn’t want to talk about it.
Dispelling Widespread Rumors
The socialist leader’s re-emergence following death rumors makes him only the latest in a very long line of Korean figures rumored to have been killed in the DPRK, only to emerge later without any seeming ill effect.
However, South Korean officials, as well as US military staff, never officially worried about the socialist leader’s wellness. In fact, a US bomber drill was staged off the coast of the North Korean city of Wonsan, where Kim was believed to be convalescing, earlier this week.
However, it should be noted that Kim’s appearance at this time does not dispel the possibility that he was, in fact, recovering from an illness or medical procedure.