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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a military drill in an undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on Oct. 24, 2014.

KCNA/REUTERS

South Korea's spy agency says it has an explanation of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's mysterious six-week-long public absence.

An aide for a South Korean lawmaker says the National Intelligence Agency told legislators on Tuesday that a foreign doctor operated on Kim in September or October to remove a cyst from his right ankle.

The aide to opposition lawmaker Shin Kyung-min said the spy agency disclosed the information in a closed-door briefing.

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Kim's lengthy absence from public view triggered speculation about his health. He reappeared in state media earlier this month hobbling with a cane.

It wasn't immediately clear how the spy agency obtained the information. It has a spotty track record of analyzing developments in opaque North Korea.

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