Kim Jong-il has been swanning around a swanky hotel in southern China. Or he has been surveying Shanghai's economic progress. Or getting a health check in Beijing. He got there by train. Or by chartered plane.
Or maybe he is still at home, wherever that is, in Pyongyang.
Whatever the truth, a bouffant hairdo and television-screen sunglasses were not a recommended disguise for anyone wanting to keep a low profile in north-east Asia last weekend.
The reclusive North Korean leader's rumoured visit to China last week has sparked speculation and stake-outs as diplomats and analysts alike try to figure out what it all means.
Mr Kim has ventured outside his hermit kingdom only a handful of times since becoming leader in 1994, so any visit is highly analysed for its rarity.
"He's such a mysterious guy and we have so little information about the truth up there," Lee Dong-bok, a former South Korean negotiator with the North, said of the media frenzy surrounding the reported visit.
But, coming amid accusations and the impending implosion of the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear crisis, the rumoured visit is inviting more than the usual scrutiny.
With the US reportedly presenting proof to China and South Korea of its allegations that North Korea has been counterfeiting and laundering money, analysts said a visit to China might be intended to shore up Beijing's support for Pyongyang.
It also raised hopes of a potential breakthrough in the talks by coinciding with an unannounced visit by Song Min-soon, the South Korean negotiator in the sixparty talks, to China earlier in the week, and the sudden arrival of Christopher Hill, Washington's top nuclear negotiator, in the region.
The speculation began earlier amid reports of extra-tight security at Dandong station, on the border of China and North Korea, and the dawn transit of an armoured train, triggering speculation the "Dear Leader" was en route to see Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, in Beijing.
South Korean newspapers said Mr Kim had undergone a medical check in Beijing -- his health was apparently okay, but not great -- but muddied the waters with reports that he was in fact on a three-day trip to Shanghai, which he last visited in 2001 to see the city's economic expansion first-hand.
The Pyongyang-based correspondent for Russia's Itar-Tass news agency then reported that Mr Kim might not, in fact, have gone anywhere at all.
"The commander, as far as I know, is at present in North Korea," the agency quoted an "informed source" as saying.
China did nothing to clear up the confusion, with Kong Quan at the foreign ministry saying: "At present I have no information to give to you." Analysts said the lack of denial from Beijing amounted to a confirmation.
But the intrigue reached fever pitch amid reports that the five-star White Swan hotel in Guangzhou -- which has formerly hosted US presidents Richard Nixon and George Bush, as well as Britain's Queen Elizabeth -- had been booked out for "an important meeting".
Metal detectors were installed and 100 police officers were sent to guard the building, and the deluge of journalists arriving on the scene reported the arrival of convoys of cars.
Japan's N-TV network aired television footage showing a man believed to be Mr Kim entering the hotel, while Kyodo News quoted a White Swan staff member saying the hotel "is receiving the entourage of North Korean leader Kim", without elaboration.
The increasing likelihood that Mr Kim was indeed in Guangzhou would itself raise further questions. Along with being close to rapidly developing Shenzhen, which is likely to hold some interest for a leader tentatively embarking on Chinese-style economic reforms, it is not far from Macau -- the place where North Korea is alleged to have been laundering money.
As with almost any reports concerning North Korea, nothing is certain except that the outside world knows precious little about Mr Kim's country.
"Kim may enjoy keeping the world puzzled over his activities," the South's Korea Herald observed, "but this only adds to the negative view of him and his country, already considered an oddball in the international community."