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Kim Jong Un Appears With Cane, Fuels Rumors Of His Health

RIA Novosti

16:26 17/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova - Kim Jong Un, the First secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, has made his second public appearance, walking with a cane in hand; his mysterious absence of more than amonth is still triggering rumors about the poor shape of his health.

'He [Kim Jong Un] made an inspection tour of a new apartment complex for educators at the Kim Chaek University of Technology in Pyongyang, the Korean Central News Agency reported… He was seen walking and sitting with a cane for support as he did during a tour of housing facilities for scientists reported Tuesday,' Yonhap, South Korean media outlet reports, citing the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Yonhap notes, that the exact date of the latest Kim Jong Un's public activity remains unclear. 'It seems to have occurred on Thursday,' October 16, the media outlet believes.

Although Kim Jong Un's public appearance has apparently silenced intense speculation about his health and North Korea's political crisis, Yonhap finds it suspicious that Pyongyang's authorities have not provided any video showing the leader's activities this week, releasing only photographs.

North Korea's leader 'resurfaced' earlier this week after six weeks of mysterious absence. Before Kim Jong Un suddenly vanished, state television had shown him 'overweight' and 'walking with a pronounced limp,' Agence France-Presse reports. During his first public appearance, presumably on Monday, October 13, the North Korean leader was using a walking stick, fueling rumors of leg injury or other health problems.

The Voice of America (VOA) emphasizes that Kim is apparently projecting a new image of North Korea's leader.

'Kim reappeared in public with a walking stick, a scene that the North Korean public may not be familiar with. In the past, the country's leaders were often portrayed in state media as infallible in every regard,' VOA's Baik Sungwon points out.

It should be noted that since assuming the post, Kim Jong Un has proved to be 'a very public figure,' who involved himself in 'endless series of field guidance trips across the country,' Agence France-Press underscores.

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