Dead or alive? North Korean leader Kim Jong Un captivates the world amid a pandemic

This is not the first disappearing act by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. PHOTO: AFP
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BEIJING - The conspicuous absence of North Korea's enigmatic leader Kim Jong Un from April's celebrations marking his late grandfather's birth anniversary fuelled speculation in the media and among pundits about the strongman's health and whereabouts.

It all began last week when CNN, quoting a US official "with direct knowledge", reported that Washington was monitoring intelligence suggesting that Mr Kim was in grave danger after undergoing surgery.

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