Kim made his first public appearance on Friday after a lengthy absence of nearly three weeks from the public eye. North Korean state-run media agency Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) released pictures and video of Kim attending the opening of the Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer factory near Pyongyang.
Closer examination of the video footage has revealed what appears to be a needle mark on Kim’s right wrist, a mark that medical experts say could indicate that Kim had a “cardiovascular procedure.”
The mark was not present during Kim’s previous public outing on April 11, according to the independent NK News.
“It looks like a right radial artery puncture … [which is] often used for access to the coronary arteries for stent placement,” one U.S.-trained medical professional told NK News, adding it appeared to be “about a week old.”
“It is hard to tell from the foreshortening of the photograph, but it seems a bit medial. It is not an IV [intravenous], which wouldn’t leave such a mark.”
A South Korea surgeon also told NK News that the mark on Kim’s arm “looks more plausible to be a procedure or check-up mark from a procedure on a heart-related issue.”
The footage shows Kim talking to several senior officials, including his younger sister Kim Yo Jong, whom experts have identified as his most likely successor. Kim showed no discomfort as he performed his duties, though he did ride a green electric cart for a period of time.
The footage and images provided by state-owned media could not be verified.
Kim disappeared for a period of 20 days, even missing North Korea's "Day of the Sun" celebration, which is held to honor the birth of Kim's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea.
Weeks of speculation led to rumors that Kim was in a vegetative state. A few outlets even outright reported that Kim had died.
Later reports indicated that Kim had possibly undergone a cardiovascular procedure, possibly a stent insertion or replacement.
When asked about the report of Kim's sighting Friday, President Trump told reporters at the White House: “I don’t want to talk about it." Trump hinted earlier this week that he knew the status of Kim's health.
Fox News' Chris Irvine contributed to this report.