Kim Jong-un ditches the cane in North Korea

North Korean leader attended an event with military commanders

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North Korean state media has published pictures showing King Jong-un walking without a cane, after weeks of speculation over his health. 

On Wednesday, the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) released a picture combination showing Kim attending an event with military commanders in Pyongyang, without a walking aid.

KCNA said Mr Kim attended the meeting on Monday and Tuesday.

The new images come shortly after the leader was photobombed by stuffed animals left in an unfortunate position during his recent visit to an orphanage.

Kim was recently pictured walking with a cane after going missing from public view for 40 days. His disappearance and use of a cane prompted rumours he may be suffering from gout or other diet related health issues.

A picture combo released by the North Korean Central News Agency

South Korea’s spy agency says it has information to suggest the leader had an operation to remove a cyst from his right ankle because he was suffering from Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.

The speculation over his absence was particularly intense because of the Kim family's importance to impoverished, nuclear-armed North Korea. The family has ruled the country since its founding in 1948 and Kim is invariably at the centre of all state propaganda.

The disappearance of several top officials from North Korean state media in recent weeks also prompted fears Kim ordered another “extensive purge” during his period away from the spotlight.