An old video of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un talking with his two lookalikes has further fueled speculation regarding North Korea using their leader's body double at a hurriedly held public event on May 1.
The inauguration of the Sunchon fertilizer factory was intended to announce to the world that the North Korean leader was alive and well.
Almost three weeks after his disappearance from the public, the tyrant attended the inauguration of the fertilizer factory, north of capital Pyongyang. Quashing the speculation related to his ill-health and death, Kim was photographed cutting the ribbon in the presence of his sister Kim Yo Jong, considered to be the next in line after his death. Releasing the pictures of the highly publicized event marking "Kim's comeback", North's state news agency KCNA reported that when Kim showed up at the ceremony, "all the participants broke into thunderous cheers of "hurrah!"
Kim had a number of lookalikes
Ever since his reappearance, speculation has been rife that the "man" in the pictures is a body double of Kim. North Korean authorities have maintained radio silence regarding the disappearance of their leader.
In old footage dating back to 28 July, 2017, Kim is seen chatting with his lookalikes prior to the launch of the Hwasong-14 missile. The Sun noted that Kim's doppelgangers appear of the same height and size, with identically cut hair shaved at the back and sides, and wearing suits perfectly matching the one worn by their leader.
According to the Mirror, Kim is known to travel with body doubles to prevent assassination attempts. Since his last public appearance on May 1, he has once again gone underground. Kim was also missing from the ceremony organised by Russian authorities to honor him with a medal to mark the 75th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany.
In a tweet, human rights activist Jennifer Zeng, who was detained in China before moving to the US, asked: "Is the Kim Jong-un appearing on May 1 the real one?"
Indicating the possibility of Kim's body double appearing at the May 1 event, ex-Tory MP and novelist Louise Mensch tweeted: "Teeth, Cupid's bow, others. Totally different. Look at those gnashes, if you must."
Truth behind Kim Jong Un's reappearance event
Claiming that the inauguration of the Sunchon phosphatic fertilizer factory, which also marked the reappearance of Kim, was a hurriedly organized event, the Daily NK reported that orders were passed on April 28.
The outlet, quoting a source inside North Korea, reported: "On Apr. 28 the [North Korean communist party's] Central Committee abruptly issued an order to prepare the factory's completion ceremony."
"For two days the construction workers fully devoted themselves to preparing for the ceremony. They worked themselves to the bone day and night to create the appearance of a finished factory, coating the outside of the building and fitting it with glass, among other things."
The source told the daily that all factory personnel and their families were mobilized to prepare flower beds and clean the roads within the factory grounds.
"Nobody onsite expected that the event would involve Kim Jong Un himself. Everyone knows that construction was not complete, but when people heard there would be a ribbon cutting ceremony, they started speculating about whether the construction workers had falsified reports to give the impression that it would be possible to finish everything," said the source.