- North Korea’s Kim Jong Un appears to have lost weight, according to analysis and experts from NK News.
- Last year, the South Korean spy agency said Kim weighed just over 300 pounds, but now looks slimmer.
- The world is watching her weight closely as it offers insight into her health and that of the diet.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to have lost weight after years of fairly significant weight gain, according to North Korean observers and an analysis by NK News state media.
South Korea The National Intelligence Service, the country’s spy agency, reported in November that Kim weighed just over 300 pounds.
– Martyn Williams (@martyn_williams) February 12, 2021
The South Korean spy service reported that Kim weighed less than 200 pounds when he took power a decade ago.
Kim is he is believed to be around 5 feet 7 inches, so at over 300 pounds, the North Korean leader, estimated in his mid-thirties, would be considered severely
and potentially at risk for various health problems.
It turns out Kim was alive and well, but he certainly didn’t portray perfect health. The next photo is of Kim in late February or early March of this year.
The North Korean leader appeared on state broadcaster KCTV on June 5, as Colin Zwirko, Senior Analytical Correspondent, NK News Noted on Twitter, and expert observers from North Korea highlighted that he seems to have lost weight.
—Vipin Narang (@NarangVipin) June 5, 2021
NK News conducted an analysis of several state media photos of Kim wearing her $ 12,000 Portofino automatic watch made by IWC Schaffhausen, noting that the length of the bracelet beyond the buckle appears longer in recent photos than it was last November, indicating that he may have worn it tighter on his wrist.
—James Pearson (@pearswick) June 8, 2021
While this type of analysis is not always an exact science, analysis of state media images and videos has provided a wealth of information on developments in North Korea, especially warhead programs. nuclear and missiles in the country.
“You have to use all available resources,” Su Mi Terry, a North Korean expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Insider.
“For a very difficult country like North Korea, where they have tight control over information, you have to do what you can,” she said, drawing attention to the value of open source intelligence.
In recent photos Kim’s face appears a bit smaller and her clothes appear a bit looser than in other photos of past events.
“On the surface, perceptible
may not mean much, “Michael Brodka, a US military intelligence officer in South Korea, told NK News, “but it can provide clues to other information sought by investigators”,
“It may be a simple matter of a healthy lifestyle change or a more complex issue,” he said. “At the moment, we don’t know, but it raises enough serious questions that we have to pay attention to events over the next two months to find out.”
Kim Jong Un’s weight and associated health issues, along with his reported affinity for chain smoking and heavy drinking, have long been considered risk factors for the North Korean diet, and they have fueled much speculation about the succession in case the man dies suddenly.
The perceived fragility of the North Korean leadership in commanding a nuclear-weaponized country is seen as a cause for concern at least to some extent.
“The succession is unclear if anything should happen to Kim Jong Un,” Terry told Insider. “We know he is in poor health, so we have to be concerned about” his weight gain, his loss and his general health.
In a passage from veteran journalist and North Korean expert Ana Fifield’s 2019 book, “The Great Successor: The Secret Rise and Rule of Kim Jong Un,” she described the young leader as “looking like a heart attack that waits to happen “. Her father, Kim Jong Il, died of a heart attack after apparently suffering a stroke a few years earlier.
Terry said the health of leadership is probably “one of the most important indicators” of regime stability. For North Korea, she said, “Kim Jong Un’s health is the biggest wild card.”