Rumours about North Korea’s leader’s whereabouts and health have been the talk of the town – but Kim Jong-un seems to be having none of that, praising workers of the major construction project, that is according to state media.

As the world watches the unravelling of the drama starring the North Korean leader with bated breath, with conflicting reports fuelling speculations of either his demise or a serious health condition – Kim was reported by state Rodong Sinmun newspaper to have sent greetings to the staff working on the construction of Samjiyon city, one of the most ambitious development projects underway in the reclusive nation.

The publication reported Sunday that Kim “sent thanks” to workers involved in the rebuilding of what was touted as an “ideal socialist village” by the North Korean leader himself. The town, which is reported to be the birthplace of Kim’s late father and country’s former ruler – Kim Jong-il –  was supposed to undergo a near-complete makeover, being transformed into a model city with new railway stations, power and telecommunications infrastructure and hundreds of brand new buildings added.

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