Kim Jong-un is used to ruling with an iron fist but the North Korean dictator may have to take things a little easier after appearing to have injured his wrist.
The 32-year-old supreme leader was spotted with a bandage on his right hand during a recent inspection of a weapons factory in Pyongyang.
The stocky head of state waved and smiled at supporters in the video on North Korean Central TV, seemingly unaffected by the injury.
“He didn’t have the injury when he inspected a military unit on April 4,” a South Korean government official said. “So it must be recent.”
The source of the injury remains unclear but Kim failed to attend a meeting of the Supreme People’s Assembly in Pyongyang last Thursday.
The South Korean official said his absence may have been due to a lack of important decisions needing the rubber stamp.
Rumours around Kim’s health ran riot last year after he failed to appear in public for 40 days without explanation.
Theories included power struggles in the secretive regime, gout, obesity and a broken ankle, but the state would only later admit he had suffered “discomfort”.
Kim is due to meet Russian president Vladimir Putin, along with other world leaders, during his first foreign visit as leader in May for the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany.
Russia are thought to be pursuing a deal with Pyongyang worth £16.5m ($25m) to overhaul North Korea’s railways in return for access to mineral resources.
US president Barack Obama has already declined an invitation to attend the May memorial.
North Korea became embroiled in a tense war of words earlier this year before the release of The Interview – a comedy movie about the assassination of the autocrat.
He has since ordered a series of military drills and Pyongyang threatened the US with ‘final doom’ if they did not pull the release of the Sony movie.