Kim Jong Un appeared at a North Korean military parade and seemed to have lost even more weight.
Pictures released by state media showed his suit hanging more loosely than in previous years.
North Korea watchers have long noted Kim’s apparent weight loss, though there’s no clear explanation.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared slimmer in new photos at a military parade, renewing longstanding speculation that he’s losing weight.
Kim presided over a display of military force in Pyongyang early Thursday as part of celebrations for the 73rd anniversary of the country’s founding.
In several pictures released by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, Kim seemed markedly slimmer than he had on earlier dates. His suit appeared to fit him loosely.
With little independent information coming from the secretive country, its leader’s weight and health – and the health of the country – have long been sources of speculation, Insider’s Ryan Pickrell reported.
South Korea’s spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, said in November that Kim weighed about 300 pounds, which would make him severely obese.
But over time – and notably in the past year – North Korea watchers have noted a seemingly shrinking waistline. By July, the NIS said he had likely lost 22 to 44 pounds.
Martyn Williams, who researches North Korea, said that at Thursday’s parade Kim again looked trimmer:
The apparent weight loss has fueled speculation about Kim’s health. During two military events in July, the leader was photographed with what appeared to be a strange greenish mark and a bandage on the back of his head.
In April 2020, he was the subject of rumors of a health scare after he disappeared from public view for two weeks.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has claimed to have no cases and declared itself coronavirus-free.
That claim was shaken, however, by a reshuffling of Kim’s senior leadership in July. It had been prompted, Kim said, by a “grave crisis” relating to the pandemic. He did not offer details.
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