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North Korea leader makes second appearance after absence

October 17, 2014, 12:36 UTC+3 PYONGYANG

Kim Jong-un made an inspection tour of newly built apartment complexes for faculty of a university specialising in nuclear research in Pyongyang

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Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un

© EPA/Rodong Sinmun

PYONGYANG, October 17. /TASS/. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made another public appearance this week, his second in four days after a lengthy absence that has seen him re-emerge with a walking stick, the country's official news agency says.

The Korean Central News Agency said on Friday that Kim made an inspection tour of newly built apartment complexes for house faculty members of a university specialising in nuclear research in Pyongyang.

The first chairman of the National Defence Commission was satisfied with the work done, noting that the project “reflects care of the Workers' Party of Korea for talented scientists and science, and demonstrates North Korea’s architectural achievements to the whole world”, the agency said.

Kim's first appearance, believed to be on Tuesday, had been an inspection of another residential complex built for scientists. State media reported that Kim visited the newly built Natural Energy Institute of the State Academy of Sciences, showing several photographs of the leader using a walking stick as he inspected the site.

The 31-year-old Kim had not appeared in public since attending a concert with his wife in Pyongyang on September 3, missing an important political anniversary on Friday as well as a recent session of the country's parliament.

Kim’s absence from public view, the longest since he inherited power after his father’s death in December 2011, had fuelled speculation over his ill health. Before his disappearance, state television had shown Kim walking with a pronounced limp. After he did not appear at a session of North Korea's top legislature late last month, state television for the first time acknowledged that he was suffering from “discomfort”.

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