Reports of an accident of some sort were not without explanation, if not much foundation. A Korean source with extensive knowledge of affairs in the North says that Kim might have been injured while witnessing a critical exercise on April 14 in which warplanes fired projectiles into the sea near Wonsan in tandem with the test-firing of missiles from a site up the coast.

True, on April 12, the day after his politburo appearance, at which his younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, was named as an alternate member, he had skipped a session of the Supreme People’s Assembly, but that could be explained away as not really a biggie. The SPA, after all, is a rubber stamp body of less than huge importance.

The missile test on April 14, the day before the 108th anniversary of the birth of Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, who founded North Korea after the Japanese surrender in 1945, was a much greater occasion.

Kim was there, said the source, and there was definitely an accident at the same scene where a similar accident had occurred in an exercise six years earlier.