Satellite image of Kim Jong-un compound

Satellite photos show a train which probably belongs to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been parked at his compound on the country's east coast since last week, amid speculation about his health.

Iran PressAsia: The photos, released by 38 North, a website specializing in North Korea studies, appear to back up South Korean Government intelligence reports that he is not in the capital Pyongyang.

Seoul has repeatedly indicated that there have been no unusual signs that could indicate Kim is suffering from health problems.

But unconfirmed media reports about Kim Jong-un's health emerged after he missed the April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of his grandfather, North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung.

The satellite images show a train has been parked at the Leadership Railway Station, servicing Kim's Wonsan compound, since at least April 21, 38 North said.

Satellite photos show a train which probably belongs to North Korean leader 

The website said the approximately 250-meter-long train was not present on April 15 but was present on both April 21 and 23.

"The train's presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health, but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country's eastern coast," 38 North said.

The photo taken on April 23 appeared to show the train had been repositioned for departure. But there was no indication when that departure might take place, 38 North said.

South Korea's presidential office said last week that Kim Jong-un appeared to be handling state affairs normally and that there had been no suspicious activities, such as an emergency readiness order issued by the North's military or the ruling Workers' Party.

The South Korean Government has since maintained its assessment that Kim's health remains the same.

Some South Korean media outlets, citing unidentified government officials, have reported that Kim has been staying at Wonsan.

North Korea's state media outlets have been silent about the speculation on his health.

On Saturday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim had received a message of greetings from the chairman of the Central Committee of Russia's Communist Party.

The message wished Kim Jong-un "good health and happiness," KCNA said.

It's not the first time Kim has vanished from the public eye, and past absences in state media dispatches have also triggered speculation about his health.

In 2014, state media didn't report any public activities for Mr. Kim for about six weeks, before he reappeared with a cane. South Korea's spy agency said later that he had a cyst removed from his ankle.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is the third generation of his family to rule North Korea, and he had not missed the April 15 event, one of the year's most important for the North, since assuming power on the death of his father Kim Jong-il in late 2011.

Kim Jong-un's health is of crucial importance because of worries that the serious illness or death of a leader venerated with near godlike passion by millions of North Koreans could cause instability in the impoverished, nuclear-armed country.


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