Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public for 35 days – sparking rumors about his health condition.
The North Korean dictator was due to take part in a military parade this week.
Satellite imagery gave a glimpse of early rehearsals, which began in December.
February 8 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army and the country is expected to hold major events.
However, some have speculated if Kim is in good shape to take part in the parade.
The dictator skipped a meeting over an agricultural crisis, NK News reported, and has seemingly stepped back from the spotlight in recent weeks.
But it’s not the first time he’s done it.
The leader’s 35-day hiatus also equates to another lengthy absence in late 2021, NK News reported.
Preparations for the celebration of the founding of the Korean People’s Army have been underway since December.
Citizens who have gathered were seen wearing medical masks next to several mysterious structures covered in black curtains.
Pyongyang recently went into lockdown after the rapid spread of an “unspecified” respiratory disease.
An enforcement notice released by Kim’s government made no mention of Covid-19.
It did, however, cite an “increase in winter cases of recurrent influenza and other respiratory illnesses.”
Videos of military planes flying in formation over central Pyongyang toward Kim Il Sung Square, where most major events are held, have also emerged in the run-up to Feb. 8.
The grand celebration comes as the country suffers from severe food shortages.
Humanitarian agencies have warned the country faces chronic food shortages, exacerbated by poor economic management and natural disasters.
The ruling Labor Party plans to meet for the second time in two months to discuss agricultural issues.
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/02/06/kim-jong-un-has-been-missing-for-five-weeks-ahead-of-military-parade-18234250/ Kim Jong-un has been missing for five weeks ahead of the military parade