Kim Jong Un has been welcomed back to the world stage, after nearly three weeks out of public view. President Trump tweeted that, "I, for one, am glad to see he is back, and well!" Trump shared state media photos of Kim, smiling and talking, purportedly at the opening of a fertilizer plant in Sunchon on Friday. US intelligence officials don't doubt that Kim is alive, Reuters reports, but haven't confirmed that the photos are of North Korea's ruler, or that they were taken Friday. Kim's absence had led to speculation about whether he had died or was incapacitated. The state news agency reported that crowds at the plant "broke into thunderous cheers of hurrah" when they saw him, per the BBC.
Trump and Kim have exchanged personal letters in the past and met three times since 2018, and the president still refers to him as a friend. But there's been little progress in arms negotiations. "US-North Korea talks going nowhere," said Joseph Yun, an envoy to North Korea under former President Obama. "Kim Jong Un pushing the envelope, say through short-range missile tests; Trump hoping that nothing much happens at least through the November elections." Another analyst sees a lesson in the US unease over the past couple of weeks. "No one seemed particularly prepared to respond in case of a North Korean crisis given the current political conditions," he said. "That is something that should be addressed." (Read more Kim Jong Un stories.)