Trim Kim Jong-un sheds 44 pounds – but is not using body double, spy agency says

Kim Jong-un: Doctor's take on weight loss revealed by reporter

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The North Korean leader weighed 140kg in 2019 – but has dropped to around 120kg, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) told lawmakers on Thursday. But any suggestion Kim, 37, is using a body double has been dismissed by the agency, according to Bloomberg.

The reason for his weight loss has also not been attributed to ill health.

NIS used artificial intelligence technology and a super-resolution video in their research.

Kim is believed to be around five feet, eight inches tall (170 centimetres).

His weight loss may instead be the result of an attempt to improve his figure.

This would make sense, given his increased public engagement, over the past 10 months.

The North Korean leader has been engaged in public activities for 70 days so far this year, according to the NIS.

This is an increase of 45 percent over the same period last year.

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North Korean Government officials have even suggested that their “Highest Dignity” has lost weight due to worrying about his people during food shortages, which are said to have worsened during the Covid pandemic.

Kim’s health has been a matter of great speculation for some time.

This has ranged from reports of numerous health conditions, including gout and diabetes, to reports that he has died.

Some went as to suggest that Kim was replaced by a “lookalike” at an event in September.

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In fact, this is just one of a number of occasions in which Kim has been accused of using body doubles at events.

Some have suggested that a double may have been used at certain times while the North Korean leader was recovering from ill health or from plastic surgery, according to The Sun.

While theories about the state of Kim’s health are discussed in newspapers and among peoples across the world, North Koreans are ordered to keep shtum.

To engage in such gossip would be considered a “reactionary act”, a North Korean insider told the US-backed website Radio Free Asia.

It notes: “As stories of health problems related to the Highest Dignity’s weight loss spread among the residents, many of the neighbourhood watch units here in Chongjin made official statements to the people at their weekly meeting, saying that it is a ‘reactionary act’ to talk about the leader’s health.”

The source added that “this is the first time that authorities have felt the need to officially explain through neighbourhood watch units in every region that the Highest Dignity has no health problems”.

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