SEOUL—North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hosted a meeting to discuss the countrys nuclear capabilities, state media said on Sunday, marking his first appearance in three weeks after a previous absence sparked global speculation about his health.
Ruling Workers Party officials wore face masks to greet Kim as he entered the meeting of the partys powerful Central Military Commission, state television showed, but no one including Kim was seen wearing a mask during the meeting.
Amid stalled denuclearization talks with the United States, the meeting discussed measures to bolster North Koreas armed forces and “reliably contain the persistent big or small military threats from the hostile forces,” state news agency KCNA said.
The meeting discussed “increasing the nuclear war deterrence of the country and putting the strategic armed forces on a high alert operation,” adopting “crucial measures for considerably increasing the firepower strike ability of the artillery pieces,” it said.
Kim has made an unusually small number of outings in the past two months, with his absence from a key anniversary prompting speculation about his condition, as Pyongyang has stepped up measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.