October 27, 2021

Why North Koreans are worried about Kim Jong Un’s weight loss

The DPRK may be highlighting his physical sacrifices to motivate citizens to work harder during the COVID-19 pandemic

According to North Korean media, the country’s citizens are reportedly concerned about Kim Jong Un’s recent weight loss. "Seeing respected general secretary (Kim) looking emaciated breaks our people's heart so much,” an unnamed man told the DPRK’s state-run TV broadcaster on June 25. 

While the country’s tightly controlled media landscape is not the best resource for analyzing sincere public opinion, cultural and historical dynamics suggest that North Koreans would genuinely be concerned about Kim’s health.