N. Korean leader Kim Jong-un may have insomnia, worsening alcohol dependency issue: South Korea spy agency


SEOUL, June 1 (Bloomberg/Reuters): North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may be suffering from a sleep disorder and a potentially worsening alcohol and nicotine dependency, South Korea’s spy agency said on Wednesday.

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) told South Korea’s lawmakers that the North Koreans were “intensely” collecting overseas medical information for top-ranking officials with insomnia, including details on medications used to treat it, like Zolpidem.

Yoo Sang-bum, a lawmaker for South Korea’s ruling People Power Party and executive secretary of the parliamentary intelligence committee, later shared details of the NIS briefing with reporters.

He said North Korea has recently imported a large amount of Marlboro and Dunhill cigarettes, as well as high-end snacks traditionally served with alcohol.

Yoo also said Kim is estimated to weigh over 140kg, according to artificial intelligence analysis.

Meanwhile, the plight of North Koreans has worsened with increasing food shortages and a spike in grain prices to the highest level since Mr Kim took power, Mr Yoo said, and crimes, suicides and deaths from starvation have increased.

South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers that Mr Kim likely observed a failed launch of a satellite on Wednesday morning.

The incident prompted an erroneous emergency alert from the Seoul government that caused panic. - Bloomberg/Reuters

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