It was a shocking and drastic change.
On September 9, Kim Jong-un appeared at a review ceremony for the 73rd anniversary of the founding of his country, wearing a gray suit. The flesh on his neck and chin had fallen off, and he had clearly lost weight. He is much slimmer than before. The hem of his pants flapped in the wind, giving the impression that they no longer fit.
Mr. Gao Yingqi, editor-in-chief of “Daily NK Japan” and an expert on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, explains.
He said, “Looking at the images from the review ceremony, I think she has lost 10 to 20 kilograms. When she appeared in public in June, she was much slimmer. While there is a positive view that she has successfully lost weight, there’s also a theory that she suffered from an adverse reaction to the vaccination for the new coronavirus. High fever and severe vomiting caused her to lose weight.”
He has changed so drastically that there is even a theory that he was a shadow of Kim Jong-un at the military review ceremony. However, Mr. Gao speculated that the position of his eyes and nose, as well as his demeanor, indicated that it was probably him. He also points out that there are significant changes.
“The reason why she looks different is not only because she has lost a lot of weight. Her hairstyle is also different. Since he became the official leader of North Korea in April 2012, Kim has frequently changed his hairstyle (see related photo), and until around 2003, he had a hairstyle with a raised top that was derided as a ‘black phone. At that time, they were young and bloodthirsty, in their 20s and early 30s, and public executions were frequent. I got the impression that their forward consciousness was also evident in their hairstyles.
After 2004, he adopted a style called “Haikyi Hair,” which is extremely cropped on both sides. This was a time when Mr. Kim was trying to rebuild the economy with a strong will. It is said that many of North Korea’s youth were forced to wear the same Haikyi hair style as their leader. At the political activist lecture held in July this year, Kim’s head was also in ‘high spirits hair’.
However, at the military review ceremony this time. The hair on the top of his head and the sides of his head were well balanced, giving him a calm impression. “It doesn’t look as eccentric as the “black phone.
“This year marks the tenth anniversary of Kim’s election as leader. He is now in his late thirties. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Kim’s leadership, and he is now in his late 30s. He may be trying to project an image of a more dignified and calm leader.
One thing that concerns me is the health scare theory that still persists. Mr. Gao continues.
“There is no doubt in my mind that he is not in perfect health. Last April, when Kim’s whereabouts became unknown, there were rumors of his death. The Korean media outlet Daily NK reported that Kim had undergone cardiovascular surgery, which was the trigger. 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 high possibility that he has undergone surgery and is carrying a heart bomb, as reported by “Daily NK”.
From that time to the present, Kim has not given field guidance to the Korean People’s Army. He used to find time to visit the military. He used to find time to go on military inspections. He must have liked the visits themselves. It was often reported that he was always smiling as he observed exercises and climbed into tanks and other vehicles.
Nevertheless, it was strange that he hadn’t gone on an inspection tour for almost a year and a half. Many of the military units are located in mountainous areas where travel is difficult. Perhaps they are holding back from giving on-site guidance in consideration of the burden on their bodies.
His body shape and hairstyle have changed drastically. The changes in Kim’s body shape and hairstyle suggest that his health and political style have also changed.
Photo： Reuters/Afro KNS/KCNA/AFP/Afro