October 14, 2014 09:26
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has resurfaced after a month-and-a-half out of the public eye that gave rise to wild speculation about his health.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday reported that Kim inspected a newly-built housing complex for scientists. He was leaning on a stick.
The official Rodong Sinmun also carried a photo but did not specify the date of the inspection, which was believed to have been on Monday.
Earlier, U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Sunday said rumors of a coup in the North are exaggerated.
On NBC's "Meet the Press," Rice was asked if she believes Kim Jong-un remains the leader. She said, "Obviously, we’re watching very carefully what's happening in North Korea. It's a country that we monitor with great attention. We have not seen any indication of a transfer of power at this point in North Korea that we view as definitive."
Both the White House and the U.S. State Department said while they had no proven information on Kim's whereabouts but rumors of a coup seem unfounded.
Adm. Choi Yoon-hee, the chairman of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, also told lawmakers here, "As far as we know, he isn't too seriously ill to govern."
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