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

HANOI, VIETNAM - MARCH 02: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attending a wreath laying ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum on March 2, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met with Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during his two-day official visit following a failed summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi which ended without an agreement made. (Photo by Dien Bien/Getty Images)

SEOUL, South Korea — 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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