Kim Jong Un visits new city under construction

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has visited a new city under construction, during his first public appearance in more than a month.

The Tuesday edition of the ruling Workers' Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, reported that Kim inspected a construction site in Samjiyon in the northern region. The city being developed is near Mount Paektu, the holy mountain where Kim's family claims its roots.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency said Kim praised the progress of the project. He noted that the construction proved "the irresistible might of the single-minded unity" between the party and people, and "the iron will of our state to achieve prosperity our own way and with our own efforts."

It marked his first public appearance reported in state media since he visited a defense development exhibition last month.

Analysts say the visit appears to be part of efforts to boost public unity, as the country is facing economic hardship as a result of UN Security Council sanctions and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.