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Kim Jong Un appears in public

North Korea Party Congress
(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made his first public appearance in 20 days, shutting down rumors that he may have died while undergoing heart surgery.

The dictator was pictured Friday smiling as he and other officials attended a ribbon ceremony for a newly built fertilizer factory in Sunchon.

During the ceremony, Kim told workers that his late father and grandfather “would be greatly pleased” the factory was completed.

Rumors began to swirl about the leader’s death after he renamed his sister Kim Yo Jong as an alternate member of the political bureau of the party’s central committee and was said to have undergone the surgery and then missed several key events in the country.

State media reported that Kim had been conducting routine activities outside public view and that he may have been staying in the coastal town of Wonsan where workers are building tourist facilities.

When asked about the dictator’s reappearance, President Donald Trump declined to comment but said he would  “have something to say about it at the appropriate time.”