ALL NEWS

State TV: NKoreans heartbroken over Kim’s ’emaciated looks’

Jun 28, 2021, 9:01 AM
FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the North Korean government, shows North Korean ...
FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the North Korean government, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at Workers' Party meetings in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Feb. 8, 2021, left, and June 15, 2021. North Korean state TV has cited an unidentified resident as saying that citizens are heartbroken because of leader Kim's “emaciated looks.” The comments are a rare acknowledgement of outside speculation that Kim has recently lost a considerable about of weight. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)
(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Heartbroken North Koreans have been worrying tearfully about leader Kim Jong Un’s “emaciated looks,” state media quoted a local resident as saying, in a rare acknowledgement of foreign speculation about his weight loss.

The comments were seen as an effort to boost domestic support for Kim’s efforts as he grapples with deepening economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, mismanagement, U.N. economic sanctions and natural disasters, some experts said.

“Our people’s hearts ached most when we saw (Kim’s) emaciated looks,” North Korean state TV cited the unidentified male resident wearing a straw hat as saying on Friday. “Everyone says their tears are welling up in their eyes naturally.”

In recent state media photos, Kim has appeared to have lost a considerable amount of weight. Some North Korea watchers said Kim, who is about 170 centimeters (5 feet, 8 inches) tall and has previously weighed 140 kilograms (308 pounds), may have lost 10-20 kilograms (22-44 pounds).

Kim’s health is the focus of keen outside attention as the 37-year-old leader hasn’t publicly anointed a successor who would take charge of North Korea’s advancing nuclear arsenal targeting the United States and its allies if he is incapacitated.

Some analysts in Seoul said Kim is likely to have gone on a diet to improve his health, while others speculated that his weight loss might be related to health issues.

Kim, known for heavy drinking and smoking, comes from a family with a history of heart problems. His father and grandfather, who ruled North Korea before him, both died of heart issues.

In recent months, Kim has called for stronger unity to overcome what he calls “the worst-ever” crisis caused by pandemic-related border closings that have sharply reduced North Korea’s international trade, persistent U.S.-led sanctions and crop-killing summer storms last year.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul stands with Lieutenant governor Antonio Delgado during their primary ele...
STEVE PEOPLES AP National Politics Writer

Takeaways from first primaries since Roe v. Wade overturned

The abortion debate consumed the nation this week, but there was no race where it mattered more than Colorado's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, where businessman Joe O'Dea became one of the only abortion-rights-supporting Republicans in the nation to win a statewide primary this year.
13 hours ago
A ballot drop box is pictured. Those wanting to vote in the utah primary election can still vote in...
Amie Schaeffer

Utah primary election: Acceptable ID to bring for in-person voting

Utah's Primary Election is today. Voters need to be sure they have the right identification to cast their ballot.
2 days ago
bountiful porch thefts...
Dan Bammes

Bountiful woman arrested after allegedly stealing $6,000 from patient

Miller, who worked with the victim as a recreational therapist when the theft occurred.
2 days ago
A technician works on a component of Rocket Lab's Electron rocket ahead of the launch on the Mahia ...
NICK PERRY Associated Press

NASA hopes New Zealand launch will pave way for moon landing

The mission came together relatively quickly and cheaply for NASA, with the total mission cost put at $32.7 million.
2 days ago
Over 200 behives broke on I-80 as the semi-truck transporting them rolled. Photo credit: Park City ...
Devin Oldroyd

Semi-truck transporting over 200 beehives rolls over on I-80

Over 200 behives broke on I-80 as the semi-truck transporting them rolled.
3 days ago
File photo...
Simone Seikaly

Salt Lake City Police cancel Amber alert for 11-year-old girl

The abduction reportedly happened in Salt Lake City at 456 North and 1100 West. By early afternoon on Monday, the victim was found in Tooele.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
State TV: NKoreans heartbroken over Kim’s ’emaciated looks’