North Korea’s Kim Jong Un appears in public amid health rumors

International
Kim Jong Un

FILE – In this Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves after a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding day in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea’s collapse has been predicted — wrongly — for decades. So it is no surprise that unconfirmed rumors that current leader Kim Jong Un is seriously ill have raised worries about what Washington and North Korea’s neighbors would do if things fall apart in any post-Kim North Korea. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean state media says leader Kim Jong Un has made his first public appearance in 20 days amid rumors about his health.

The Korean Central News Agency said Saturday that he attended a ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer factory in Suncheon, near the capital of Pyongyang, with other senior officials, including his sister, Kim Yo Jong.

Photos from the ceremony weren’t immediately released.

Kim Jong Un had been last seen during a ruling party meeting on April 11 to discuss coronavirus prevention. Speculation about his health swirled after he missed the April 15 celebration of the birthday of his late grandfather and state founder, Kim Il Sung, the country’s most important holiday.

South Korea’s government had downplayed rumors and unconfirmed reports that Kim was in poor health following a medical procedure, saying it had detected no unusual activity in the North.

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