Kim appeared in public, North Korean agency reported

Kim attends the completion of a fertiliser plant, together with his younger sister Kim Yo Jong, in this image released by KCNA.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made his first public appearance in 20 days, state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday, amid speculation that he may be sick or even dead. North Korean media ran photographs showing the leader apparently attending a ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer plant in Sunchon, some 50 kilometres north of the capital Pyongyang.

According to the agency, Kim was welcomed by "thunderous cheers" by partcipants in the ceremony, which was held on Friday.

There was no independent confirmation of the reports from North Korea.

Ever since South Korea-based online newspaper Daily NK reported in April that Kim had to undergo heart surgery - followed by his conspicuous absence from some key events - Korea watchers have been wondering about his fate.

"I'd rather not comment on it yet, Kim Jong Un. We'll have something to say about it at the appropriate time," US President Donald Trump told reporters when asked about the reports of Kim's public appearance.

Kim had not been seen in public for about three weeks. He was last seen attending a key party meeting in Pyongyang on 11April and missed celebrations marking his late grandfather Kim Il Sung's birthday on 15 April.

In its over 1,500-word report on Saturday, KCNA did not address speculations about Kim's health.

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