North Koreans Banned From Discussing Kim Jong-Un’s Weight Loss

North Korean officials have warned citizens not to publicly discuss the health of national leader Kim Jong-Un after he appeared to have lost weight in recent months, sources in the country say, calling such gossip a “reactionary act”.

Images of the stripped-down leader made his first appearance in the state media after a long absence in June and sparked a new round of feverish speculation after rumors of his death from botched heart surgery last August.

Government officials are now insisting that the 37-year-old ruler, commonly referred to as “the highest dignity” by the state media, is not only perfectly healthy, but has actually lost weight due to concern for his people and their continued diet can be attributed to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Kim Jong-un this June. Image credit: KCNA

The spread of rumors about the health of dignity is viewed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as treason, an unnamed insider told the US-supported radio station Radio Free Asia.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “When stories of health problems related to the weight loss of the Supreme Dignity began to spread among residents, many of the neighborhood guards here in Chongjin made official statements to the people at their weekly meeting and said: that it is a “reactionary act” to talk about the leader’s health.

“The neighborhood guards also said the sudden weight loss was not due to a health problem, but that it is suffering in the best interests of the country and the people in crisis alone.”

Some attendees at the meeting claimed they were heartbroken when they learned that their leader was suffering alone in the face of the nationwide crisis – but according to the insider, they were only saying what officials present at the meeting wanted to hear.

Kim Jong Un in January 2021Kim Jong Un in January 2021

Another source, based in the town of Sariwon, south of the capital, Pyongyang, also claimed that neighborhood guards there warned people not to gossip about Kim’s health.

The second source, who requested anonymity for security reasons, said, “Although Sariwon has not called an emergency meeting of residents to assure them that the Supreme Dignity is healthy, he warned people at neighborhood watch meetings not to mention his health.

“They stressed that it was forbidden to share stories about the health of the leader who they said was emaciated due to the accumulation of national affairs.

“But the public suspicion that he has health problems has not subsided.”

Kim’s unhealthy lifestyle has been well documented over the years – the Supreme Leader has a known fondness for cheddar cheese and expensive cognac, and has long been rumored to be both a diabetic and a heavy smoker.

Both his father and his grandfather before him were also known to be heart patients.

Kim Jong Un will be taking his sixth extended absence of two weeks or more in 2021.

After appearing noticeably thinner and most recently with a mysterious dark stain on the back of his head, observers continue to speculate about Kim’s health
– NK NEWS (@nknewsorg) August 18, 2021

But whether or not the rumors that North Koreans openly gossip about the health of their leader will ultimately come true is a new development and has not been tolerated under previous regimes.

“At that time, the person who spoke about the leader’s health problems was taken to a political prison with his family,” added the second source.

“But nowadays everyone is aware of the weight loss of the Supreme Dignity, so the authorities are doing their best to shut up people.

“But unlike in the past, there will be limits to completely blocking public opinion.”

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