North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance in over three weeks Saturday, hosting a military meeting, according to state media reports.
“Set forth at the meeting were new policies for further increasing the nuclear war deterrence of the country and putting the strategic armed forces on a high alert operation,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, according to Reuters.
The agency also released images of Kim speaking from behind a large desk to an audience of men in military uniforms.
Kim had been out of the public eye for weeks before reappearing to mark the opening of a fertilizer factory on May 1, prompting rumors about his health and possible surgery.
KIM JONG UN VANISHED OVER CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS, NOT HEART SURGERY: SOUTH KOREA
Rather than having spent the time recovering from heart surgery, as initial reports suggested, Kim stepped out of the public eye due to coronavirus concerns, South Korea’s intelligence agency claimed earlier this month.
Before that, he hadn’t been seen since April 11. During his absence, he missed the country’s most important holiday, the “Day of the Sun,” which marks his grandfather’s birthday. Kim Il Sung was the country’s first Communist dictator.
In addition to that stretch out of the public eye, Kim has appeared less than half as often this year as he did up to this point in 2019, Reuters reported at the time.
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Last week, he unexpectedly replaced his bodyguard and the head of North Korea’s spy agency, according to South Korean media. No reasons were given for the moves.
North Korea is known for withholding information from public scrutiny.
Fox News’ Greg Norman and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.