North Koreans worry over 'emaciated' Kim Jong Un, state media says


FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during the fourth-day sitting of the 3rd Plenary Meeting of 8th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea in this image released June 18, 2021 by the country's Korean Central News Agency. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT./File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) - Everyone in North Korea is heartbroken over leader Kim Jong Un's apparent weight loss, said an unidentified resident of Pyongyang quoted on the country's tightly controlled state media, after watching recent video footage of Kim.

The rare public comment on Kim's health come after foreign analysts noted in early June that the autocratic leader, who is believed to be 37, appeared to have lost a noticeable amount of weight.

"Seeing respected general secretary (Kim Jong Un) looking emaciated breaks our people's heart so much," the man said in an interview aired by state broadcaster KRT on Friday.

"Everyone is saying that their tears welled up," he said.

In the clip, which Reuters could not independently verify, Pyongyang residents were seen watching a big screen on the street showing a concert attended by Kim and party officials after a plenary meeting of their Workers' Party of Korea (WPK).

The broadcast did not provide any details on what had led to the weight loss.

When Kim reappeared in state media in June after not being seen in public for almost a month, analysts at NK News, a Seoul-based website that monitors North Korea, noted that his watch appeared to be fastened more tightly than before around an apparently slimmer wrist.

Given Kim's tight grip on power in North Korea - and the uncertainty over any plans for a successor - international media, spy agencies, and specialists closely watch his health.

Early last year speculation about Kim’s health exploded after he missed the birth anniversary celebrations of state founder Kim Il Sung on April 15, only to reappear in public in early May.

In 2014, state media reported that Kim was suffering from "discomfort", after a prolonged period out of the public eye.

(Reporting by Josh Smith; Additional reporting by Minwoo Park; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Words of comfort for the eco-anxious
Sudan military-civilian tensions reach low point in wake of coup attempt
San Marino votes to legalise abortion in historic referendum
Sudan protesters agree to resumption of South Sudanese oil exports
Mexico to resume voluntary flights for migrants who want to return to Haiti
Factbox-Germany's election in polls, facts and figures
Iran fails to fully honour agreement on monitoring equipment, IAEA says
How politicians reacted after exit polls from Germany's election
Far-right AfD sees silver lining in weak result: Merkel is out
German CDU's Laschet vows to try to build conservative-led government

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers