Kim Jong-un has gained weight and binge eats, says spy agency

The North Korean leader is also said to be suffering from insomnia due to concerns over his personal safety

Maya Oppenheim
Sunday 03 July 2016 17:10 BST
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Kim’s father Kim Jong-Il and grandfather Kim Il-Sung both suffered from obesity and gout and they also smoked
Kim’s father Kim Jong-Il and grandfather Kim Il-Sung both suffered from obesity and gout and they also smoked (AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS)

Kim Jong-un has gained roughly 40 kg (90lb) in weight since he became the leader of North Korea four years ago and binges on food, according to a report by South Korea’s spy agency.

The national intelligence service told a closed session of the South Korean parliament that the country’s head of state also suffers from insomnia and is constantly worried about his personal safety.

Lee Cheol-uoo, a South Korean ruling party lawmaker, informed journalists the 33-year-old saw his weight surge from 90kg to 120kg by 2014 and he is now believed to weigh 130kg.

“He keeps a close tab on any potential threats to his power, including the military, and he is obsessed with ensuring his personal safety,” Lee said, referring to intelligence reports to back his statements up.

“Because of his habitual binge eating and drinking, he is likely to develop adult [lifestyle] diseases.”

Kim Jong-un has purged a number of senior officials who were accused of challenging his authority over the past few years. The most high profile execution was that of his uncle Chang Song-thaek who was executed for treason.

There has been a great deal of speculation surrounding Kim Jong-Un’s health in recent years, with rumours emerging that he suffers from high blood sugar, gout and diabetes. He is reputed to be a heavy smoker and a massive fan of Swiss cheese.

Speculation reached its peak after Kim Jong-un didn’t appear in public for three weeks, failing to turn up to a session of the supreme people’s assembly - North Korea’s national legislature.

Kim’s father Kim Jong-Il and grandfather Kim Il-Sung both suffered from obesity and gout and they also smoked. Kim’s father and grandfather both died from heart attacks.

Although the vast majority of North Korea’s 25 million citizens endure the threat of starvation, obesity is a growing problem among North Korean kids and teenagers from elite families.

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