The leader of the totalitarian state appeared much slimmer in photos taken of him recently – one expert suggests this is because he doesn’t have access to his favorite cheese
Photos have been released by North Korea that make the leader of the totalitarian state, Kim Jong-un, look significantly slimmer.
The dictator showed off his sleek new look during a key ruling party meeting in late 2021, with authorities insisting that Jong-un eat less “for the sake of the country” which is suffering from severe food shortages.
And Metro reports the leader’s weight loss could have been due to North Korea’s harsh border closures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has prevented Jong-un from getting his favorite food.
The bully is reportedly “obsessed” with Swiss cheese, indulging so much that he once weighed 20 stone and became so overweight he “broke his ankles”.
He is also believed to love fried chicken, Russian vodka, Hennessey cognac and champagne.
North Korea expert Dr. Sojin Lim said: “We know he has good sources, he likes cheese, he is a heavy drinker, he has access to all junk foods.
“But because of those border closures, the way he gets all that food into North Korea will have been restricted. So he no longer has the same variety.
“At the same time, he cannot maintain his figure as a fat person because people in the home environment are starving.
“If he keeps that look, it’s only going to add to people’s grievances. So tactically it could coincide with that.”
It has been suggested by some defectors to the communist regime that Kim may have gained weight on purpose to look like his massive grandfather, North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung.
dr Lim, also senior lecturer and co-director of the International Institute of Korean Studies at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “He no longer has access to certain foods, but at the same time losing weight does not mean he is losing his legacy from his grandfather.
“It also shows people, ‘I’m with you, I’m not taking all this food for myself, I’m like you, I’m suffering too.'”
“Because of his cult of personality and propaganda, his whole image is artificial – nothing is natural. It’s not that different from here, with Boris Johnson and his haircut.”
North Korea has not confirmed a single case of coronavirus, but its strict “zero Covid” policy is having a serious impact on its population.
It has sealed off entire cities and even instituted a “shoot on sight” policy on its border with South Korea.
In a desperate bid to boost its economy, the state resumed cross-border rail freight services between China in November – but imports will be held in a quarantine facility for a week before being distributed across North Korea.
Corruption and economic mismanagement are part of the problem, but sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the US in response to North Korea’s nuclear program also play a role.