US President Donald Trump has expressed relief that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to be in good health. “For my part, I’m happy to see that he’s back and he’s doing well,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry confirmed Kim’s appearance while criticizing the speculation. “Baseless reports on North Korea have recently created unnecessary confusion in the areas of the economy, security and society,” it said in a statement.
It is not uncommon for Kim not to appear in public for a long time. In 2014, he had even disappeared from the scene for almost six weeks. He then showed up with a walking stick. The secret service in South Korea suspected at the time that Kim had a cyst on his ankle removed.
This time, the speculation was particularly concerning that Kim had been absent from the celebrations in honour of his late grandfather, state founder Kim Il Sung. April 15 is the most important date of the year for the country’s political elite.