The man in the dark gray suit looked noticeably thinner than before. His jaw and neck had lost some flesh. Depending on how you look at him, you get the impression that he has lost weight.
On September 9, the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the country, North Korea held a military parade at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-un, dressed in a suit and tie, attended the parade along with other senior officials. The parade began at midnight.
“The parade began at midnight. The parade started at midnight, and the parade was lit up to make the formation stand out in the darkness, probably to create a dramatic effect. There were no new strategic weapons or intercontinental ballistic missiles on display this time. This was probably done in consideration not to provoke the U.S., which was aiming for dialogue. What stood out was the “emergency quarantine squadron” wearing orange protective suits and gas masks. It was a way of showing both at home and abroad how well they could deal with the new coronavirus,” said a reporter from a Korean newspaper.
Kim Jong-un’s appearance was a matter of concern. He didn’t make a speech, and even though he waved occasionally, he remained standing on the dais. The hem of his pants was flapping, giving the impression that he had lost a lot of weight.
“According to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, Kim weighed about 140 kilograms as of last November. According to the National Intelligence Service of South Korea, Kim weighed about 140 kilograms as of November last year, and is said to be extremely obese, and to have chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, gout, and cardiomyopathy. Looking at the images of the military parade, his weight is perceived to be less than 100kg. Even if he has been dieting, the rapid weight loss would have been very hard on his body.
He appeared at the Politburo meeting on June 4, but he was clearly exhausted. According to one theory, he had a strong adverse reaction to a coronary vaccination, suffered from high fever and severe vomiting, and needed to rest for a long time.
Two reasons for refraining from on-site guidance
There are two reasons why Kim Jong-un has refrained from teaching in the field. Kim Jong-un is known for his frequent field guidance of Korean People’s Army troops. Recently, however, there has been an anomaly: Kim Jong-un has not conducted a military inspection for nearly a year and a half. Mr. Gao Yongqi, editor-in-chief of Daily NK Japan, who has been studying his activities, said.
“Kim’s last visit was in April last year, when he inspected a regiment of Air Force chase raiders. Since Kim became the leader of North Korea in December 2011, he has been conducting on-site military training whenever he can find the time. On many occasions, he has visited the country multiple times a month. I think he likes the visits themselves. It is highly unusual that there has been a gap of almost a year and a half.
Mr. Gao thinks there are two reasons why Kim Jong-un has refrained from visiting the site.
“The first is the new corona. The first is a new type of corona. It could be a cluster. If one of them were to become infected, they could bring the virus back to Pyongyang and spread it to their senior officers.
The second reason is Kim Jong-un’s health problems. The second reason is Kim Jong-un’s health problems,” Ko continued.
“In April last year, when Kim Jong-un’s movements were unknown, there were rumors of his death. It all started when the South Korean media outlet Daily NK reported that Kim had undergone cardiovascular surgery. Kim appeared in public the following month, and the death theory was dismissed, but a scar on his right arm that looked like a catheter scar was confirmed. There is a strong possibility that he has undergone surgery and is carrying a heart bomb, as reported by Daily NK.
It was at that time that he stopped making military visits. Most of the troops are located in mountainous areas, where travel is difficult. Field guidance is physically demanding. I believe that Kim stopped conducting the inspection because of his own physical condition.
Ten years have passed since Kim Jong-un became the head of North Korea. Whether the long-term dictatorship will continue depends on the health of the aging leader.