Recent photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un show he has lost a lot of weight, leading to speculation about his health.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said that Kim, who is thought to be 37 years old, looks rather thin in new images released by state media.
NK News later analyzed photos of Kim speaking at a meeting late last week, appearing publicly for the first time in a month, and saying she’s lost “significant weight.”
Exit Point Extended photos show Kim reinforcing her distinctive watch strap. The images showing the left wrist are more subtle than similar photos taken in November 2020 and March this year.
It is not known whether the new appearance was a result of illness or a decision to lose weight.
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service said in November that Kim weighed 140 pounds and had gained 6 to 7 pounds a year since he came to power in 2011, up from 90 pounds.
Mike Brodka, intelligence officer for the US Special Operations Command in South Korea, told NK News that analysts have a number of implications to consider when monitoring the health of the North Korean leader.
“It could be a healthy lifestyle change or something more complex. We don’t know right now, but it raises serious enough questions that we need to focus on the events of the next two months to find out.”
Another analyst believes whoever deliberately loses weight will improve their situation at home, given the country’s food shortages and economic crisis.
Kim’s health has been a source of speculation in the past. In 2014, six weeks before he reappeared with a stick in his hand, a South Korean spy agency claimed he had undergone surgery to remove a cyst on his ankle.
His three-week absence last year sparked rumors that he was seriously ill, and some believed he died, although he was in good health.
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Source@ News Hub