North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Appears In Public After 20-Days Absence Amid Health RumoursKim Jong Un speaking at a summit in South Korea (Korea Summit Press Pool/Getty Images)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended a fertiliser factory completion ceremony, state media reported on Saturday (1 May), his first public appearance after 20 days of absence that sparked rumours about his health.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Kim cut the tape at the ceremony marking the completion of Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer Factory in Sunchon, north of Pyongyang, on Friday, reports the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency.

Photos released by KCNA showed Kim, dressed in a dark Mao suit, cutting the red ribbon during the ceremony and talking to accompanying officials with a smile on his face.

"All the participants broke into thunderous cheers of 'hurrah!' extending the greatest glory to the Supreme Leader who has brought about a new change in the development of Juche-based fertilizer industry and has led the grand revolutionary advance for strengthening self-supporting economy to a victory with his outstanding leadership," KCNA said.

Juche is the concept of self-reliance.

"He looked round several places including raw material processing process, yellow phosphorus production process, ammonium phosphatic fertilizer production process, and packing process, being briefed about the production processes of the factory," KCNA added.

Kim was also quoted as expressing "satisfaction about the wonderful creation" and "set forth the tasks and ways for developing our chemical industry in a correct orientation as required by the new century".

Accompanying Kim were his sister Kim Yo-jong, Pak Pong-ju, vice chairman of the WKP's Central Committee, Premier Kim Jae-ryong and other senior officials, according to KCNA. No. 2 leader Choe Ryong-hae was not among the attendees.

This marked Kim's first public appearance since April 11, when he presided over a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party.

His absence from an annual event marking the April 15 birth anniversary of his late grandfather and national founder, Kim Il-sung, sparked speculation he might be seriously ill, said the Yonhap News Agency report.

In a report last week, CNN had said that the US was looking into intelligence that Kim Jong-un was in "grave danger" after surgery.

With IANS Inputs

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Advertisement