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a mystery

Satellite images shed new light on Kim Jong Un's possible whereabouts

No one can say for sure what the real situation in North Korea is, but the latest development bolsters evidence that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is alive.

Satellite imagery has shown a train believed to belong to Kim parked at his compound in the coastal resort of Wonson, suggesting that he is currently staying outside of the capital, Pyongyang.

Rumors began swirling after Kim missed the April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of his grandfather, which is unusual, and Reuters reported Saturday that China dispatched a medical team to "advise on" Kim. But veteran North Korea analysts have downplayed the idea that his health is critical, noting that it's not the first time the leader has vanished from the public eye. South Korean intelligence has maintained the belief that Kim is alive, and U.S. officials are similarly skeptical. The images seem to back that up, but they also don't confirm anything about the state of his health.

The Washington Post notes that some experts have pointed out that Kim could have left Pyongyang in light of the coronavirus pandemic — North Korea has insisted it has no cases, a claim doubted by many outside observers.

Regardless, North Korea is one of the world's most secretive and isolated nations, making it difficult to gather accurate reports, and it could be some time before there's any clarity on Kim. Read more at The Associated Press and The Washington Post.