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North Korea Shows Kim Jong Un Walking With Cane After Mysterious Absence

Several photos released Tuesday show the North Korean leader using a cane to walk. Reports said last month that Kim may have broken both of his ankles.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made his first public appearance in 40 days, state media reported on Tuesday.

The Korean Central News Agency said Kim visited a new residential district for scientists that included apartments as well as schools and a hospital.

In recent weeks, he has missed government meetings leading to speculation about whether he remained in charge of the country. South Korean media reported in September that he had been hospitalized for ankle surgery. Rumors also suggested that Kim suffered from gout or other health problems.

He was last photographed in public on Sept. 3, when he attended a concert.

Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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