North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whose weight loss has been a topic of much discussion, has reportedly lost around 20 kgs or 44 pounds. This revelation was made by a South Korean lawmaker Kim Byung-kee who was briefed by spy agency National Intelligence Service that estimated that Kim Jong Un lost between 10-20 kgs.
The South Korean lawmaker said that the North Korean leader is not unwell and he still holds hours-long meetings. “If there is an abnormality in his health, there should be signs that drugs are being imported to the clinic that’s in charge of Kim’s health, but that was not detected,” the lawmaker said on Thursday, according to a report in Bloomberg. He added that there is nothing unusual about the way Kim Jong Un walks.
In November South Korean spies estimated that Kim weighed about 140 kgs but they did not make any such estimate this time.
Kim’s weight is tracked by spy agencies as an indication of his health, as they try to keep up with the autocratic regime. The leader’s family has had a history of heart disease.
Meanwhile, another lawmaker Ha Tae-keung said that there’s no evidence that Kim Jong Un has taken a COVID-19 vaccine.
For much of May, the 37-year-old North Korean leader was out of the public eye. When he made a public appearance in a video in June he appeared to have shed a lot of weight. Later North Korean state media ran a story that citizens broke down when they saw a thinner Kim.
Impacted by the pandemic and international sanctions, the North Korean economy has barely grown this year. Fitch Solutions said in April that the economy saw its worst contraction in decades in 2020. Moreover, typhoons last year that wiped out crops and closure of borders due to COVID-19 escalated food prices. Last month Kim said that the “food situation is now getting tense.”
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