World Media

Detail in new Kim Jong-un footage could explain his absence

Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on May 2 reportedly shows Kim Jong Un attending a ceremony to mark the completion of Sunchon phosphatic fertilizer factory in South Pyongan province. The report cannot be independentl

In accordance with the response manual, the military then fired a total of 20 shots in response - 10 rounds each time - and issued broadcast warnings, it added.

A fresh mark on Kim Jong-un's arm corroborates earlier reports about his alleged heart surgery, some medical experts suggested after footage of the North Korean leader's most recent public outing was published by local media.

Why it matters: It's the first violent confrontation between the two countries on the border since 2017, and comes after weeks of conflicting reports about the health of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. It remained unclear why the North fired the shots. But most of the deals have not been acted on by North Korea, with Pyongyang largely cutting off contact with Seoul.

The Koreas are split along the Demilitarized Zone, which was created as a buffer.

The South Korea government, which had urged caution on speculation about Kim's health and said it saw no sign anything serious had happened, gathers intelligence from various sources including US spy agencies and satellite imagery, said Kim Hong-kyun, a former South Korean nuclear envoy. Thae Yong-ho, a North Korean defector-turned-lawmaker told CNN last week that "one thing is quite clear.he can not stand up by himself or walk properly".

Speculation about his health began swirling after he missed an April 15 event commemorating the birthday of his grandfather and state founder, Kim Il Sung, something he had never done since inheriting power upon his father Kim Jong Il's death in late 2011.

South Korea has maintained they believe he is alive and well in the port town of Wonsan.

USA president Donald Trump said Saturday he was "glad" about Kim's reappearance and about the fact that he is apparently healthy.

Trump on Saturday welcomed the leader's return.

He was with several senior officials, including his younger sister Kim Yo Jong, who is expected to take over if her brother is suddenly unable to rule.

"We also sent a notice to the North Korean side via the inter-Korean communication line at around 9:35 a.m., and called for its explanation", a JCS officer said.

"We are still hopeful that we'll find a path to negotiate that solution to get the outcome that is good for the American people, good for the North Korean people and for the whole world".