Pyongyang: After remaining out of the public eye for more than a month, North Korea's 'Dear Leader' Kim Jong Un finally made an appearance, seeking to scotch a string of speculations about his health as well as power vacuum in Pyongyang, triggered by his mysterious absence.
According to KCNA Watch, a North Korean media tracker agency, said that Kim Jong Un, made his first official visit while overseeing a housing project for the scientists.
Photos of Kim Jong Un, which showed him all smiles and walking with a cane, were published by a North Korean news daily on Tuesday.
Kim's photos showing that he has to use a walking stick, confirms earlier reports of him having ankle, foot ailments.
An earlier video had showed Kim limping to the stage.
The front page of Rodong Sinmun daily newspaper was splashed with a series of photographs of Kim, inspecting a housing project site.
Kim was said to have given a “field guidance to newly built Wisong Scientists Residential District” and also “noted that not only the flats looked cozy and convenient” and well furnished for the scientists' comfort, according to the KCNA Watch.
The news was dated Tuesday, however the report did not mention the specific date on which Kim made the visit.
Kim also visited the newly built Natural Energy Institute of the State Academy of Sciences, added the report.
Kim is said to be very appreciative about his nation's scientists who in December 2012 managed to put a satellite into orbit on board a long-range rocket.
The publishing of Kim's photos appears to be aimed at dousing dangerous speculations running amok, including one which claimed that Kim was no longer in control and that his sister Kim Yo Song was secretly running the government.
The Hermit Kingdom had become a breeding ground for rumours ever since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un disappeared from public view.
What fuelled the rumours were Kim's absence at two key events, one on September 9 - Foundation Day of the North Korean State and another on October 10 - held to mark the founding of North Korea's communist party.
The leader was last seen on September 3, when he attended a concert with his wife. Before that, he was seen walking with a limp in July at the 20th anniversary memorial commemorating the death of his grandfather, the nation's founder.
The video of him limping to the stage has added fuel to the speculations of him being ill – a claim refuted by a delegation of North Korea that met South Korean officials in a rare visit aimed at bettering ties.
Earlier reports have doubted that Kim may be suffering from diabetes, gout, ankle problems etc.
However, according to a CNN report that cited an analyst Michael Green, given the family history of the leader, he might be suffering from emotional and mental problems too, like paranoia, narcissism and attraction to violence.
The rumours spinning around Kim's health ailments might be intensified if Kim Jong Un fails to turn up at a key event this Friday, Oct. 10 which is held each year to mark the founding of North Korea's communist party.