SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 1 August 2021, Sunday |

North Koreans worry over ’emaciated’ Kim Jong Un – state media

An unidentified resident of Pyongyang quoted on the North Korea’s tightly controlled state media said everyone in the country is heartbroken over leader Kim Jong Un’s apparent weight loss, after watching recent video footage of Kim.

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

The man added: “Everyone is saying that their tears welled up.”

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

Given Kim’s tight grip on power in the country – and the uncertainty over any plans for a successor – experts, spy agencies and international media closely watch his health.