North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made his first public appearance in 20 days as he celebrated the completion of a fertilizer factory near Pyongyang, state media said, ending an absence that triggered global rumors that he was seriously ill.
North Korean media has not reported on Kim Jong-un's whereabouts since he presided over a meeting on April 11, provoking intense speculation about his health.
It is believed that Kim Jong Un has been found in the eastern city of Wonsan amid speculation that his health is failing.
Conjecture over Kim has grown since his conspicuous no-show at April 15 celebrations for the birthday of his grandfather Kim Il Sung, the North's founder – the most important day in the country's political calendar.
Rumours have been circulating about the health status of North Korea's leader, who was last seen in public on April 11 and was not in attendance for the country's most important holiday.
The string of weapons drills come as a prolonged hiatus in disarmament talks with the United States drags on, and despite recent overtures from Washington offering help to contain the pandemic.
North Korea launched multiple projectiles into the sea earlier this month as part of firing drills, according to South Korea's military, drawing US and Chinese appeals for Pyongyang to return to talks on ending its nuclear and missile programmes.
State media reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un supervised his second live-fire artillery exercise in a week
US was swift to respond, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to "take a different course" and stressing that the US wanted "peace not confrontation" with the North.
The New Year address is expected to touch upon a wide range of issues, from foreign affairs and military development to the economy and education.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who said the North would pursue a “new path” if Washington persists with sanctions and pressure, is expected to announce major policy changes during his New Year’s address.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has convened a key meeting of top ruling party officials, ahead of a year-end deadline for Washington to shift its stance on stalled nuclear talks.
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