North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health has long been the object of speculation and curiosity in neighboring South Korea, which has to live with its 1.2 million soldiers and army. A growing arsenal of missiles and nuclear weapons.
Did I gain more weight? Does he struggle to breathe after a relatively short walk? And that cane? Why did he miss the important state agenda?
Now the 37-year-old dictator is the subject of new speculation about his health. This time because it is Obviously thinner.
Kim’s health is important to Seoul, Washington, Tokyo and other governments around the world because he has not publicly identified a successor who would control North Korea’s nuclear program if it became impotent.
North Korea, which lacks little transparency about the inner workings of its leadership, has shut itself down over the past year to protect itself from the coronavirus pandemic.
In recent footage by state media, including those published on Wednesday, Kim appears to have lost a lot of weight.
Its advanced watch strap is more compact and its face is thinner. Some observers say Kim – who is about six feet tall and previously weighed 140 kg – may have lost about 10 to 20 kg.
Kim’s apparent weight loss is likely an attempt to improve his health rather than a sign of illness, according to Hong Min, a senior analyst at the Korea National Institute for Unification in Seoul.
In a photo distributed by the official North Korean Agency, Kim Jong Un speaks at a Workers’ Party meeting in Pyongyang on June 15 – Photo: KCNA via Associated Press
“Had he had health problems, he would not have gone out in public to hold the full meeting of the Workers’ Party Central Committee,” Hong said, a major political conference this week that is expected to last two to three days.
Kim is known to drink and smoke heavily, and comes from a family with a history of heart problems. His father and grandfather, who ruled North Korea before him, died of heart problems. Experts suggest that being overweight can increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry told The Associated Press it had no information to share about Kim’s health. Her leaner appearance has garnered a lot of attention in South Korea, with media outlets publishing pictures of her past and current appearances.
Seo Yoo-suk of the Seoul-based Institute of North Korean Studies said the creation of the position of first secretary of the Workers’ Party, the country’s second most important party, may be linked to potential health problems for Kim. It is believed that the dictator may have allowed the establishment of the position at the request of senior officials, but he did not nominate anyone for the position as he might loosen his grip on power.
Seo wonders, “If Kim had a real health problem and was in a state where he couldn’t express his opinions even though he didn’t die, who would make the decision to name the first secretary?”
When global speculation about Kim’s health exploded last year after he missed his late grandfather’s birthday celebration, some analysts predicted that Kim’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, would be next in order to inherit your brother’s power. Others said collective leadership would also be possible.
Kim Jong-un’s wife appears in rare public in North Korea in February 2021