KIM Jong-un appeared in public for the first time in 20 days yesterday, state media reported, after rumours he had died spread around the world.
The North Korean leader, 36, was seen cutting a ribbon and speaking to officials at the completion ceremony of the Suncheon Fertilizer Plant, the Korean Central News Agency reports.
The despot had last been seen in public on April 11 sparking reports he was gravely ill or dead after a botched heart operation.
Speculation over the welfare of Kim has been mounting for days but the rogue state had not broken its silence.
Yesterday, he appeared alongside his sister Kim Yo-jong, who had been tipped to succeed him, at the fertilizer plant, the pictures show.
According to the KCNA report, the dictator made a short speech after inaugurating the facility.
He said: “When the Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer Manufacturing Plant goes into operation, it will represent a historical development in our country's fertilizer industry, it will be a glorious revolution and a splendid display of our nation's great economic potential, and it will be an uplifting banner that assures us of the achievements of our country's general economic frontline.”
The report said that Kim "expressed satisfaction about the wonderful creation" and congratulated workers from Kim Chaek University of Technology, "repeatedly stressing that talents are a great source and a motive power of the development of the country."
This is not the first time Kim has vanished from public and then reappeared.
In February, he disappeared for nearly three weeks without any speculation surrounding his health.
And in 2014, he vanished for 40 days, sparking rumours he had been ousted in a coup, only to reemerge with a walking stick after apparently recovering from an illness or an operation.
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