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N. Korean leader reappears with a cane in 40 days

Posted October. 15, 2014 03:48,   


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reappeared in public in state-run news media in 40 days. He had been at the center of rumors including a health issue. His media reappearance seems to underscore his presence.

North Korea’s media outlets including Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the regime’s mouthpiece, said with pictures on Tuesday, "Our leader Kim Jong Un visited a newly built residential district for scientists." He was accompanied by Hwang Pyong So, the army’s chief political officer, Choe Thae Bok and Choe Ryong Hae, secretaries of its ruling Workers’ Party, Han Kwang Sang, the party’s finance and accounting director, and Kim Chong Kwan, deputy minister of the People’s Army Forces.

Kim Jong Un, who appeared with a waist-high black cane, implied that he was not fully recovered from his ankle injury. A source from the South Korean government said, “The purpose of his appearance can be interpreted as an attempt to address the rumor that he stepped down. His appearance with a cane also shows he was in a hurry.”

Its state TV network aired the news four times on Tuesday afternoon that the young leader visited the completed residential area for scientists in Pyongyang. Instead of a video clip, it aired dozens of pictures. The TV network appears to have been reluctant about releasing the video clips of the limping leader. Although the exact time that he visited the complex is unidentified, he seems to have visited it on Monday. Kim Jong Un looked good in the pictures, but he seemed to have lost some weight and leaned on a cane on his left side. The residential complex for scientists that Kim visited is a residential area for North Korean scientists for nuclear weapon, missiles and aerospace.