After a long absence from the viewing public, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has reappeared noticeably slimmer. He appears to have shed some pounds, a “significant amount of weight,” which has led to questions about his health.
The question is if he lost the weight intentionally for health reasons or if he he’s wasting away due to ill health?
Some are speculating that Kim Jong Un’s weight loss could be due to health concerns.
“On the surface, noticeable weight loss may not mean much, but it can provide clues to other information that intelligence collectors look for,” Mike Brodka, an intelligence officer for US Special Operations Command in South Korea, also told NK News.
“It may be a simple matter of a healthy lifestyle change or a more complex issue,” Brodka said.
“Right now, we do not know, but it raises enough serious questions that we must pay attention to events over the next couple of months to find out.”
Kim, who is also a heavy smoker, has struggled with health issues that are most likely a biproduct of his weight and lifestyle.
In 2014, he disappeared for almost six weeks before reappearing with a walking stick. Days later, the South Korean spy agency claimed he had undergone surgery to remove a cyst from his ankle.
And a three-week absence last spring sparked rumors that he had fallen seriously ill after undergoing heart surgery — though a more plausible theory was that he had just been isolating during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kim Jong Un walking into the politburo meeting, from KCTV June 5. Also some hummingbird applause on the left there pic.twitter.com/Cpbum5Txgs
— Colin Zwirko (@ColinZwirko) June 5, 2021
NK News forensic analysis of state media imagery does suggest that Kim appeared thinner last Saturday, as the luxury watch he frequently wears seemed to be fastened more tightly than before around an apparently slimmer wrist.
Kim Jong Un wrist-watch (pun intended) season 2:
This may seem goofy but Kim's health is an actual security risk in the region re: potential instabilities it could cause. And @ColinZwirko has proof from open source that Kim may have lost weight.
Details https://t.co/T4dDMVhF13 pic.twitter.com/JwK48NbQJi
— Jeongmin Kim (@jeongminnkim) June 8, 2021
The NIS reportedly told ROK lawmakers in 2020 that they believed the 5’7″ Kim weighed 140 kilograms (308 pounds) and had “gained an average of 6 to 7 kilograms per year,” or 50 kg total, since coming to power in late 2011.