South Korea’s intelligence agency has informed lawmakers that Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, is in good health and is actively working to enhance public support for him amidst the country’s deteriorating economic challenges. Moreover, it has been reported that he has recently shed approximately 20 kilograms (44 pounds).
According to two legislators who participated in the meeting, the National Intelligence Service provided the evaluation during a private session in the parliament on Thursday. The organization employed artificial intelligence methods, analyzed high-resolution video footage of Kim, and utilized other techniques to examine his state.
In the impoverished nation with nuclear capabilities, a sudden disability could potentially cause disorder and a few specialists argue that Kim, who is 37 years old, has not publicly designated a successor. Kim’s well-being has garnered significant external interest in recent months due to his visibly slimmer appearance in official media images and footage.
Despite the fact that observers in North Korea have noted that there have been no unusual developments and regular public activities seen in North Korean videos, they have also mentioned that Kim’s appearance has become thinner. This is probably the result of his efforts to improve his physique, as there are no apparent health problems or weight loss issues.
Kim Byung-kee, a legislator, stated that the NIS disregarded the report as unfounded. A tabloid even asserted that his recent public appearances were made by a fake, although these rumors about him remain unverified.
According to previous statements by the NIS, Kim is approximately 170 centimeters (5 feet, 8 inches) in height. During the parliamentary session, the NIS reported that Kim’s weight has decreased from around 140 kilograms (308 pounds) to 120 kilograms (264 pounds).
Kim has been involved in public activities for 70 days this year, representing a 45% increase compared to the same period last year.
The lawmaker said that the NIS found photos of Kim’s late grandfather and father, who were removed from a conference room party by workers from North Korea.
“Kimjongilism” and “Kimilsungism” are political ideologies named after Kim Jong-un’s father and grandfather. However, North Korea has now started using the term “Kimjongunism,” which refers to a political ideology that is distinct from existing ideologies. This information was relayed by Ha Tae-keung, a lawmaker who cited the NIS.
After the coronavirus pandemic, Kim appears to be struggling to overcome the economic hardships that were caused by his 10-year rule.
According to the NIS, Ha stated that North Korea’s yearly commerce with China, its primary partner and economic support, decreased by 66% to $185m until September this year in comparison to the preceding year.
According to Ha’s description of the NIS presentation, North Korean authorities have been compelled to release provisional currency because of the country’s incapacity to bring in the paper and ink it utilizes to produce banknotes. The proliferation of waterborne illnesses such as typhoid fever has been expedited by scarcities of medicine and other indispensable provisions, alongside skyrocketing costs of commodities, which North Korean authorities are grappling to manage.
An excessive explosion in a major plant fertilizer caused operations at NIS, as quoted by Ha, in August. North Korean officials are pushing hard-working workers to increase production. While trade has reduced the limited supply of materials needed for industrial activity.
North Korea is starting to relax its stringent Covid-19 border restrictions in order to obtain external assistance, as confirmed by the NIS in line with recent reports from the World Health Organization.
Ha stated that the NIS has not observed any indications of a significant Covid-19 epidemic. Although specialists have raised doubts regarding its assertion of a flawless track record, North Korea still has not disclosed any instances of the coronavirus.
Despite severe virus-related border controls in North Korea, mass immunizations are expected to be delayed globally, as there hasn’t been an urgent need for the same type of vaccines.
The legislator stated that the NIS has additionally concluded that North Korea has not displayed any inclination towards acquiring Pfizer vaccines, which would necessitate discussions with the pharmaceutical company and the United States. Ha mentioned that North Korea has turned down external proposals for Russian and Chinese vaccines.