Kim Jong-un pictured for first time since ill-health rumours

  • Video report by ITV News Reporter Ria Chatterjee

North Korean media has released photos of Kim Jong Un making his first public appearance in weeks, ending rumours about his health.

The Korean Central News Agency said that he attended a ceremony marking the completion of a fertiliser factory in Suncheon, near the capital Pyongyang, with other senior officials including his sister Kim Yo Jong.

Kim had been last seen during a ruling party meeting on April 11 to discuss coronavirus prevention.

The North Korean leader was pictured cutting tape at the opening of a factory in state media. Credit: KCNA

Questions about his health flared after he skipped an April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of his grandfather, North Korea founder Kim Il Sung.

The annual commemoration is North Korea’s most important event, and Mr Kim, 36, had not missed it since inheriting power from his father in late 2011.

Seoul has repeatedly said that there had been no signs from the North that Mr Kim is unwell.

North Koreans were seen wearing face masks during the opening of the factory. Credit: KCNA

Mr Kim has been out of the public eye for extended periods in the past, and North Korea’s secretive nature allows few outsiders to assert confidently whether he might be unwell, let alone incapacitated.

Mr Kim is the third generation of his family to rule North Korea, and a strong personality cult has been built around him, his father and grandfather.