Kim Jong-un reappears in public for first time in 36 days

Seoul, Nov 16 (EFE).- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made his first public appearance after more than a month-long absence during a sight inspection of a major infrastructure development project in the northeast of the country bordering China.

The state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Tuesday that Kim gave on-the-spot guidance to developers of the Samjiyon city development that is nearing completion.

Kim “gave on-the-spot guidance” during the visit, the news agency said, without specifying the date of the trip to the city.

The news agency described the city as “the sacred place of the sun where the native home of the revolution is located.”

Three members of the politburo presidium, Jo Jong-won, Pak Jong-chon, Kim Tok-hun, and other officials accompanied the leader to Samjiyon, which is at the foot of Mount Paektu, the heart of North Korea’s foundation myth around the Kim dynasty.

KCNA released pictures of the visit, showing Kim in the city that has witnessed the season’s first snowfall.

It was Kim’s first public appearance in 36 days. He was last seen in public during his visit to an arms exhibition in Pyongyang on Oct.11.

“(Kim) sent thanks to the builders, supporters and the people of the whole nation who brilliantly realized the decisions and policies of the party,” KCNA said.

The official media said Samjiyon has turned “into a model of a mountainous-cultured city and into an ideal local city as befits the sacred place of the revolution.”

“The construction of the city has been vigorously pushed forward (and) … is due to be concluded this year.”

Samjiyon was a rural county until 2019.

KNCA said it now has houses for thousands of families, production buildings, educational facilities, water supply, drainage system, roads, afforestation, and power grid system.

Kim said the city construction began “a new revolution in making the people in local areas witness a leaping progress to a highly civilized material and cultural life.”

He noted that the construction of Samjiyon had been wonderfully done as planned and intended by the party.

Kim warmly wished for the happiness and well-being of all the people of Samjiyon in leading “a highly civilized and wonderful cultured life in the place dear to heart, the place housing the native home of Chairman Kim Jong Il and in which Mt Paektu stands.”

The original plan was to complete the project in 2020 to coincide with the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party.

But the pandemic and international sanctions delayed the plan.

The North Korean regime believes that Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, was born in a secret camp of the resistance forces to the Japanese occupation on the slopes of Mount Paektu.

Historians, however, say that he was born in a Soviet camp in the Primorye region of the Russian Far East. EFE


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