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2x UPDATED with photo: Kim Jong Un makes public appearance

Kim Jong Un, Public Domain Image

2nd UPDATE: 7:25 p.m. EDT (May 1) The latest story from Yonhap includes a photo of Kim.

1st UPDATE: 7:15 p.m. EDT (May 1): Yonhap’s updated story notes

“All the participants broke into thunderous cheers of ‘hurrah!’ extending the greatest glory to the Supreme Leader who has brought about a new change in the development of Juche-based fertilizer industry and has led the grand revolutionary advance for strengthening self-supporting economy to a victory with his outstanding leadership,” KCNA said.

ORIGINAL POST: Yonhap reports

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made his firs public appearance after 20 days of absence, contradicting rumors about his health, state media showed on Saturday.

Kim attended a ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer plant in Sunchon, South Phyongan Province, according to the media.

Report: Chinese doctors sent to DPRK to examine Kim Jong Un

Kim Jong Un, Public Domain Image

Newsweek has the details.

“While the U.S. continues to monitor reports surrounding the health of the North Korean Supreme Leader, at this time, there is no confirmation from official channels that Kim Jong Un is deceased,” a senior Pentagon official not authorized to speak on the record told Newsweek. “North Korean military readiness remains within historical norms and there is no further evidence to suggest a significant change in defensive posturing or national level leadership changes.”

Kim, to Trump: I have a big weapon, too!

Kim Jong Un, Public Domain Image

Yonhap has the details.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he sees no reason to stick to his commitment to suspend nuclear and long-range missile tests and will soon show off a “new strategic weapon,” accusing the United States of stalling for time for its own political interests, according to state media Wednesday.

Oh, come on Anthony, stop being so hard on Trump

Donald Trump has been a disastrous president. He cares only about that which benefits him. Yes, ego comes with the job; however, when it comes to Trump, there is no check on the ego: He is the best, the brightest, the man, and the rest of us must bow down to his greatness.

That is not leadership. That is not what Americans who really care about their country should accept from the president.

Trump’s admiration of dictators, disdain for institutions such as NATO, desire to undermine the First Amendment, refusal to acknowledge international crises such as climate change, disregard for historical traditions such as respecting the office he holds, and hatred for anyone not white and male (unless that person fawns all over him) make him a failed leader.

His admiration for military weaponry is eerie; there’s a quasi-perversion about how many weapons America has and how big they are. You do remember his warning to Kim Jong Un about a “bigger button,” no?

His consistent ludicrous statements — the colonists took over the airports in the 1770s is the most recent — demand that questions about his mental acumen be asked. My family knows all too well the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s; two of my aunts and one of my uncles fell victim to this horrible disease. I wish it on no person and no family.

When Trump speaks gibberish, such as the aforementioned airports in the 1770s, Americans who are still willing to put country over partisanship must ask why feckless Republicans inside and outside power admire, accept and support this man. And why they tolerate his words and actions.

Their silence means assent. It echoes loudly across the world.

Trump represents nothing the Republican Party has supported for more than a generation, unless the GOP was a sham during that time and was, in fact, a racist, misogynistic, hate-filled, selfish, money-lusting, immigrant-fearing, gun-loving party that finally found its real man in 2016.

If it is, then the GOP must suffer catastrophic losses in local, state and national elections until the cancerous tumor destroying it is removed. The “Never Trump” members of the GOP, whatever their faults, should be supported in whatever efforts they undertake to Make Republicanism Acceptable Again.

The bar for Democrats to beat Trump in 2020 will be higher than it was in 2016; incumbency is a powerful card for any sitting president to play. Trump will win enough states in November 2020 to net roughly 200 Electoral College votes. Principled, wise, serious voters elsewhere must make sure he doesn’t gain the additional 70 required to earn a second term. The expected swing states aren’t many; but if the voters in those states do the right thing, then the Tyranny of Trump will be over in January 2021.

It must be.

U.S., DPRK officials can play blame game but can’t reach nuke deals

Reuters reports that when a summit collapses, the blame game rises. And the Americans and North Koreans are playing it.

“It’s hard to say there will be something better than what we offered. We may not have such an opportunity again. We need such a first step on the road to complete denuclearization. Our fundamental stance will never change and even if U.S. seeks further talks, our position won’t change,” Ri said.