North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was pictured leading a meeting of the country’s Politburo over the weekend, further solidifying his return to the public eye after rumors circulated in April that he was in failing health and possibly even comatose.
During the meeting of North Korea’s top decision-making body, Kim and other members of the body discussed developments of the country’s chemical industry and ensuring living conditions for citizens in Pyongyang, according to a report from KCNA Watch.
Kim repeatedly stressed the importance of North Korea’s chemical industry.
“The chemical industry is the foundation of industry and a major thrust front of the national economy,” a translated press release from KCNA Watch read. KCNA Watch aggregates news from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The second major agenda item, living conditions in Pyongyang, reportedly centered around discussions of constructing “dwelling houses.”
“The Supreme Leader stressed to take strong state measures for ensuring the living conditions of people including the construction of dwelling houses,” the translated KCNA report reads.
The Politburo meeting also reportedly touched on party and organizational matters.
“State media say Kim Jong Un oversaw a politburo meeting,” tweeted VOA Seoul bureau chief William Gallo. “Topics discussed:
– ‘urgent problems’ in developing North Korea’s chemical industry
– ‘immediate issues’ of ensuring living conditions for citizens in Pyongyang
– party ‘rule-related matters’
– an ‘organizational matter'”
State media say Kim Jong Un oversaw a politburo meeting. Topics discussed:
– “urgent problems” in developing North Korea’s chemical industry
– “immediate issues” of ensuring living conditions for citizens in Pyongyang
– party “rule-related matters”
– an “organizational matter” pic.twitter.com/DO1puxsVMD
— William Gallo (@GalloVOA) June 7, 2020
Pictures from the meeting showed neither Kim nor any of the other members of the body wearing masks. According to Sky News, there was no mention of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
North Korea maintains it has had no cases of the coronavirus, Covid-19, which has spread to most other countries around the world and has affected millions of people. U.S. and South Korean observers believe it is likely North Korea has had coronavirus cases, despite claiming otherwise.
Kim’s appearance comes weeks after he was photographed at the opening of a new fertilizer plant in May. Kim’s appearance at the fertilizer plant provided the first confirmed public appearance after he went missing from public view for more than three weeks.
His disappearance coincided with his grandfather and North Korean founder Kim Il Sung’s April 15 birthday. The day is treated as a holiday in North Korea and his absence from birthday celebrations fueled speculation he was in failing health.