KCNA: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears in public for first time in weeks

Posted at 4:18 PM, Oct 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-13 18:18:38-04

By Dana Ford


(CNN) — Kim Jong Un has reportedly made his first public appearance in more than a month.

The North Korean leader gave “field guidance” to a newly built residential district, state news agency KCNA said early Tuesday.

Kim hadn’t been seen in public since he reportedly attended a concert with his wife on September 3.

It was his longest absence from official events since he made his first public appearance in 2010, said NK News, a website devoted to analyzing North Korea.

Kim’s disappearance from the public eye has fueled rampant speculation: Was he sick? Were there machinations within the North Korean power circle?

Before this absence, his longest disappearance from public view as Supreme Leader was 24 days between June 7 and July 1, 2012. His second longest absence was for 29 days between July 28 and August 27, 2011 — while his father was still alive, NK News said.

Kim’s sole public appearance in September was at a Moranbong Band concert at Pyongyang’s Mansudae Art Theatre, reported by state media on September 4. He was accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, his sister Kim Yo Jong and several top officials including Hwang Pyong So.

CNN’s Madison Park contributed to this report.

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