North Korea's Kim visits family tomb to pay tribute to grandfather - KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a conference of cell secretaries of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, in this undated photo released on April 9, 2021 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA/via REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid his respects at the mausoleum for his grandfather Kim Il Sung on Thursday to mark the birthday of the founder of the state, official media KCNA reported.

Kim and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, also watched a performance of song and dance at the Kumsusan Palace of Sun, where his father and grandfather lie in state, in celebration of the national holiday, KCNA reported on Friday.

"When the performance was over, the audience again broke into stormy cheers for the General Secretary," it reported.

Kim's no-show at last year’s anniversary fanned speculation about his health. A flurry of unconfirmed reports about his condition and his whereabouts followed, including reports suggesting that Kim was in grave danger after a surgery.

Kim was accompanied to the palace this year by senior North Korean officials, including his sister Kim Yo Jong, KCNA reported.

Earlier this month, North Korea said it would not take part in the Tokyo Olympics due to coronavirus concerns, dashing South Korean hopes that the Games could be a catalyst to revive peace talks.

North Korea says it has not had any coronavirus cases.

(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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