North Korea's Kim Jong Il visited machine and soap factories, state media reported Tuesday, the latest in a series of dispatches in recent weeks about public appearances by a leader believed to be recovering from a stroke. The autocratic communist ruler gave "field guidance" at the factories in the western city of Sinuiju on the border with China, the official Korean Central News Agency said. Though KCNA did not provide an exact date of the visits, it said Kim praised the machine factory for fulfilling its assignments for this year "as of the end of October." KCNA did not release any images of Kim. Kim reportedly suffered a stroke in August and underwent brain surgery.