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Smiling Kim Jong Un returns to public eye

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made his first public appearance in more than 40 days, with a visit to a new housing development.

Rodong Sinmun newspaper has published new photos of Kim Jong Un for the first time in more than 40 days Credit: RTV

The 31-year-old has not appeared in public since attending a concert with his wife on September 3 - missing an important political anniversary on Friday as well as a recent session of the country's parliament.

His absence fuelled speculation of ill-health or possible political turbulence in the secretive country, but today the country's official newspaper Rodong Sinmun, printed multiple photos of a smiling Kim standing with the apparent aid of a walking stick.

Multiple images of Kim Jong Un show him being supported by a walking stick Credit: RTV

Last week a source with access to the North's leadership told reporters that Kim was in firm control of the country but had hurt his leg taking part in a military drill.

Today's newspaper report did not say when the visit had been made, or refer to Kim's unusually lengthy absence from public view.

Kim Jong Un 'makes first public appearance in weeks'

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made his first public appearance in several weeks, state media has reported.

The 31-year-old's prolonged absence from public view had fuelled speculation over his health as well as his grip on power in the secretive nation.

Kim was shown visiting a newly-built residential district and a scientific establishment, according to the report.

Rumours continue to circulate over Kim Jong Un

A pattern of non-appearances has raised concerns about the where-abouts, and well-being, of North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-Un.

Explanations have ranged from diet and too much Swiss cheese, to a straight-forward coup.

He's not been seen in public for more than 5 weeks and today he failed to appear at a major national event.

It could all have an impact on relations with China, his longtime ally and supporter.

ITV News China correspondent Lucy Watson reports.

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