During a military parade to commemorate North Korea's 73rd anniversary, Kim Jong Un appeared to be in better shape than ever. The cause for the Supreme Leader's weight loss is unknown; some speculate that it is related to failing health, while others speculate that it is politically driven or just a desire to lose weight.
North Korea had a nighttime military parade instead of the customary missiles, with troops dressed in orange hazmat suits, tractors, and fire engines taking center stage. The 73rd anniversary of the country's founding included rows of people parading in orange hazmat suits with medical-grade masks, ostensibly to show support for anti-coronavirus operations.
Slim-looking Kim Jong Un appears in a military parade
It happened against the background of an escalating economic crisis, with self-imposed coronavirus border restrictions exacerbating food, medical, and gasoline shortages in the isolated state. According to the official KCNA news agency, a slim-looking Kim Jong Un was seen amid the unmasked throng smiling at onlookers and hugging children during the ceremony, which began at midnight on Wednesday in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Plaza.
It's striking how much healthier Kim Jong Un is looking in these photos from yesterday. However he is doing it -- and there are theories -- he looks a lot better than he did a few months ago. pic.twitter.com/DKqCOFSBF8— Martyn Williams (@martyn_williams) September 9, 2021
The leader, who usually wears a Mao suit to public occasions, wore a Western-style suit and tie to the ceremony and did not give a speech, as per Daily Mail. On Thursday, the governing Workers' Party's newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, released photos of hazmat-suited members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards, the country's largest civilian defense force.
In June, the tightly controlled state media published a story claiming that his apparent weight loss had left him "looking emaciated" and had broken the nation's heart, Sky News reported. According to an unnamed resident of Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, recent photos of Kim Jong Un have angered people across the country.
Analysts noticed a weight drop in the leader, who is thought to be 37 years old, when he resurfaced on state media in early June after being out of the public eye for over a month. NK News, a website located in Seoul, released enlarged photos of him tightening the strap on his favorite watch, which is said to be worth $12,000.
North Korea's leader rumored underwent heart surgery
According to Christopher Green, a Korean expert at Leiden University in the Netherlands, state media may be emphasizing his weight to demonstrate unity with citizens facing food shortages. The government implemented strict COVID-19-related border controls, slowing trade and exacerbating economic issues.
Kim Jong Un, who is renowned for his passion for good food and heavy drinking, looks to have shed a significant amount of weight in a short period. When he failed to present for the April 15 celebrations of the North Korean state's founder, his grandfather Kim Il Sung, speculation about his health intensified.
Per Newsweek via MSN, he resurfaced in early May 2020, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, at the opening of a fertilizer facility north of Pyongyang. Kim Jong Un was rumored to have been severely sick after undergoing heart surgery.
Kim's father and grandparents also died of heart illness, and many specialists believe the leader's weight puts him at risk for cardiovascular disease. The dictator's shrinking waistline came under attention when photographs of the 37-year- old at the event were shared online.