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Kim Jong Un reappears

by Mickey McLean
Posted 5/01/20, 08:40 pm

Rumored dead or seriously ill, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un showed up at a new fertilizer factory near Pyongyang on Saturday, according to state-run media. The Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the plant, and the Rodong Sinmun newspaper published photos of him smiling as he toured the facility.

How long was Kim missing? His last public appearance was 20 days ago on April 11, when he presided over a Workers’ Party meeting. Rumors began to swirl after Kim for the first time since taking power in 2011 failed to appear in public to celebrate his late grandfather Kim Il Sung’s birthday on April 15, a major holiday in North Korea.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Daniel James Devine and Sophia Lee’s report from 2014 on human rights abuses in the communist country.

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Mickey McLean

Mickey is the executive editor of WORLD Digital. He was previously the managing editor of Delta Air Lines' Sky magazine for more than a decade. Mickey resides in Greensboro, N.C. Follow him on Twitter @MickeyMcLean.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 05/01/2020 10:33 pm

    No doubt he flashed big smiles at all the cameras. 

  • Rich277
    Posted: Sat, 05/02/2020 07:07 am

    "according to state-run media."

    Posted: Mon, 05/04/2020 02:29 pm

    "Kim attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony" -- and when was that ceremony? Several months ago or last year, perhaps? Even more, with CGI technology, the whole scene could have been "manufactured" at the plant.