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North Korean Leader Skips Ruling Party Anniversary Amid Rumors of Poor Health: Reports

RIA Novosti

11:41 10/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - Speculations over the whereabouts of the North Korean leader continue as he failed to make an expected appearance at a major political event in Pyongyang, NK News reported Friday.

According to NK News, Kim Jong-un was absent from an official list of attendees at the Kamsusuan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on the 69th anniversary of the country's ruling Workers' Party, an important political event in North Korea. Kim has previously marked the occasion with visits to the shrines of his late father and grandfather.

The North Korean leader has not been seen in public in 37 days, his longest absence since his first public appearance in 2010, NK News reported. His longest absence prior to this lasted for 29 days, between July 28 and August 27, 2011.

Kim's lengthy absence from the public eye has sparked much speculation about his health and whereabouts. Earlier media reports suggested that the North Korean supreme leader received treatment for an ankle injury at a Pyongyang clinic and was also suffering from obesity, which along with reported binge drinking, might have caused gout.

North Korean state media, which usually report Kim's activities in great detail, have stated that he is suffering from 'discomfort.'

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