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N Korea at crossroads

Kim Jong Un's train spotted again in Wonsan

Satellite images show possible presence of North Korean leader at resort retreat

A satellite image taken on April 23 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's train at a station in Wonsan. (Photo courtesy of Planet Labs/38North)   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Satellite images gathered on Wednesday by 38North showed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's train at a station in Wonsan, the coastal city where Kim keeps a private resort compound.

Since rumors of Kim suffering ill health surfaced earlier this month, observers of the hermit state have relied on satellite imagery to ascertain his movements. North Korea has stayed silent on his health and whereabouts since his absence from the birthday celebration of his late grandfather, the regime's founder Kim Il Sung, on April 15.

South Korean and U.S. officials skeptical that Kim was ill said he may be sheltering in the compound to avoid the new coronavirus, according to Reuters. Satellite images have also shown movements near Wonsan of luxury boats frequently used by Kim and his inner circle.

Little intelligence has been available from North Korea since the country closed its borders in January to prevent spread of the coronavirus from foreign travelers and neighboring China.

The train, first spotted on April 21 at the station used by the Kim family and North Korea's leadership, does not confirm Kim's presence in Wonsan. The station connects directly to Kim's compound, which also contains a private beach and basketball court, according to satellite images.

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