North Korean leader Kim Jong Un cut the tape of the opening of a fertilizer plant, according to the North Korean Central News Agency, in his first appearance on the official media since there was speculation about his health last month.
The agency said that Kim “attended the celebration” on Friday, as the participants cheered and applauded.
Western journalists circulated Kim’s photos on social media as soon as they were published, amid controversy over her health.
Will Ripley, a CNN reporter, said authorities in the United States, South Korea and Japan are working to verify the authenticity of the photos.
On the other hand, North Korean journalist and researcher Martin Williams said that the official media in North Korea rarely resorted to falsifying such pictures of leader Kim.
Kim has not appeared in public since he chaired the meeting of the political office of the ruling Labor Party on April 11, and the next day the official media reported that he inspected fighter planes in an air defense unit and released photos of him without specifying their date.
Speculation about his health was raised when he missed the birthday ceremony of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, founder of North Korea on April 15.
In the aftermath, the “Daily In Kai” website – which is run by opposition North Koreans – said that the North Korean leader had undergone surgery because of suffering from problems in the arteries of the heart, and that he was going through a recovery period in the North Pionghan County.
|The leader appeared with his sister, Kim Yoo Jung, who had been speculated by newspaper reports that he would succeed him in leading the country (Reuters)|
And in recent days, the “38 North” North Korean research center based in Washington has released satellite imagery showing a special train likely to belong to the North Korean leader at a resort within the country, amid conflicting reports about Kim’s health and location.
According to press reports, China has sent a team to North Korea that includes medical experts to advise on Kim.
Trump refuses to comment
On the other hand, US President Donald Trump declined to comment on the news of Kim’s appearance, telling reporters at the White House Friday: “I prefer not to comment on that at the moment, we will have what we say in this regard at the appropriate time.”
Trump had previously said that information related to Kim’s poor health was “probably wrong”, but he declined to say whether he was in contact with North Korean officials.
South Korean officials also called for caution about speculation related to Kim’s health, and Moon Ji-in, the national security adviser to the South Korean President, told CNN that the Seoul government’s position was firm, that the North Korean leader is still alive, and he is in good health. , Adding that Kim has been staying in the Winson area since April 13, and that his country’s authorities have not detected any suspicious movements so far in the northern neighbor.