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N.K.'s official paper reports on Kim sending gratitude to propagandists

North Korea 09:23 May 04, 2020

SEOUL, May 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed gratitude to state propagandists, the country's main newspaper reported Monday, days after dispelling persistent rumors about his health with his first public appearance in about three weeks.

"Comrade Kim Jong-un sent gratitude to exemplary instructors for carrying out their responsibility and role as basic propagandists, which have led workers to implement the party's policies," the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party, said.

The paper said the instructors are full of passion to live up to the leader's expectations by continuing to "ideologically" encourage workers to continue their "frontal breakthrough" and move forward.

The report came after state media said Saturday that Kim attended a fertilizer factory completion ceremony a day earlier, his first public appearance after 20 days of absence that sparked rumors about his health, including the possibility of his death.

Photos released by state media showed Kim cutting a red ribbon during the ceremony and talking to accompanying officials with a smile on his face. They did not show any signs of an illness.

Despite Kim's prolonged disappearance from public view since he was last seen on April 11 presiding over a major party meeting, North Korean media outlets continued to carry articles on his routine schedules, such as sending out letters to foreign leaders or gifts to honored citizens and workers, though they provided no report or photo on his public activity.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) attends a ceremony to mark the completion of a phosphatic fertilizer factory in Sunchon, north of Pyongyang, on May 1, 2020, in this photo released the next day by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency. Kim made his first public appearance after a 20-day absence that sparked rumors about his health. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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