North Korean leader Kim Jong-un went on a diet retreat in the provinces to lose weight at the urging of close aides, a source claimed Monday.
The North Korean propaganda machine has already been trying to make hay from the obese leader’s weight loss.
According to the source, Kim had gained weight due to work-related stress, drinking, smoking and a high-fat diet, leaving him alarmingly short of breath.
The semi-official story making the rounds is that North Koreans “expressed worries about his health as he gained excessive weight,” the source added. “On April 15, the birthday of regime founder Kim Il-sung, the family of an anti-Japanese partisan fighter sent a letter to Kim to ask him to ‘lose weight and take some rest,’ while saying that his good health is the ‘biggest wish’ of the country and the people.”
The story goes that Kim demurred at first, saying, “How can I take a rest as I’ve done nothing for the people?” But he finally gave in when close aides like politburo member Ri Pyong-chol weighed in as well.
Kim had not been seen in public for about a month and looked noticeably slimmer when he chaired a series of Workers Party meetings in mid-June.
In one preposterous clip shown on state TV, a North Korean expressed dismay at Kim’s “emaciated” appearance.
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