Kim Jong-un 'may be suffering with gout' as state confirms North Korean leader is ill

State says Supreme Leader is 'suffering discomfort'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

North Korea has publicly acknowledged Kim Jong-un has a medical problem for the first time, as reports emerged suggesting the Supreme Leader may be suffering from gout.

Kim has not made a public appearance since 3 September where he attended a concert alongside his wife.

His absence has prompted speculation over his health, particularly as the 31-year-old was seen walking with a limp at an event with key officials in July and in a pre-recorded documentary broadcast by state media on Thursday.

Meanwhile, photos released by the notoriously secretive DPRK suggest Kim has ballooned in size since coming to power after his father died of a heart attack in 2011 – despite many citizens in North Korea facing starvation.

Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership and contributor to the 38 North website said: "Based on his gait, it appears he has gout - something (due to) diet and genetic predisposition that has affected other members of the Kim family.”

State media has touched very lightly on the subject of his health, saying Kim has been “suffering discomfort” but still continues to ensure the “wealth and prosperity of our socialism” in a voice-over for the film. The documentary was followed by a pre-recorded broadcast of a North Korean Supreme People's Assembly meeting from which Kim was notably absent.

Comments