North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has paid a visit to the mausoleum of his late grandfather Kim Il-sung to mark the anniversary of the founder of the nation, dispelling rumors about the reclusive incumbent leader's troubling health.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) said that Kim visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun at 12 a.m. Thursday.
The state-run mouthpiece also published a photograph of a notably slimmer Kim at the ceremony, standing at the center of the front row of an entourage of North Korea's top political, government and military leaders paying tribute to his late grandfather.
The KCNA report came after rumors surfaced that Kim had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and that a coup was underway in the North. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service issued a statement dismissing the rumors as groundless.
According to the KCNA, Kim was accompanied by senior North Korean officials, including Choe Ryong-hae, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, Jo Yong-won, the secretary of the party secretariat, and Premier Kim Tok-hun.
His powerful sister Kim Yo-jong and North Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui were also seen in the photo unveiled by the KCNA.
The visit marked the 27th death anniversary of Kim Il-sung, on which Kim Jong-un has paid tribute every year since he took power in 2012, except for 2018.