Is Kim Jong Un sick? ‘Oof, he doesn’t look too great,’ says former CIA analyst

Is Kim Jong Un sick? ‘Oof, he doesn’t look too great,’ says former CIA analyst

  • North Korea watchers are poring over a fresh batch of images of Kim Jong Un  
  • He looks to have gained weight as he is pictured hosting Vladimir Putin
  • READ MORE: Putin and Kim disagree over who should get in their limousine first

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un revived a Cold War-era mutual defense pledge on Wednesday.

But that wasn’t all that North Korea watchers noticed during Putin’s visit to the hermit kingdom.

Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA analyst, said Kim looked ill.

‘My first reaction looking at Kim Jong Un was, “Oof, he doesn’t look too great to me,”‘ she told CNN.

‘There was a time when he lost a little weight and he looked better. So my initial reaction was that he didn’t look, in terms of being healthy, because his health is something that we always track anyway.’

The state of Kim’s weight is not just the preserve of gossips.

An entire industry has grown up around monitoring the ups and downs of his waistline. 

Without a publicly named successor, intelligence chiefs fear his sudden incapacitation could tip the dirt-poor, nuclear-armed country into chaos.

Collins explained that the lack of reliable information from North Korea meant analysts studied images of Kim to get a sense of how he was doing.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service keeps a particularly close watch.

Three years ago it said Kim had lost 44 pounds. It estimated his weight fell from about 308 pounds to about 264, according to lawmakers briefed on its findings. 

Putin’s overnight visit offers the chance to study a raft of fresh images of the North Korean leader looking bloated and red faced.

Questions about his health surface every year or so.

Last year he disappeared from public view for more than a month, triggering speculation that he was ill.

Analyst Sue Mi Terry said Kim appeared to have put on weight and looked unhealthy

South Korea's National Intelligence Service used images of Kim in 2021 to estimate that the North Korean leader lost 44 pounds

Some of the most serious concerns arose in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic enveloped the world.

A website run by North Korean defectors said he had been struggling with heart trouble for months.  

CNN reported that Washington was monitoring intelligence that Kim was in ‘grave danger.’

It was followed up in the Japanese media with an unconfirmed report that he was in a ‘vegetative state’ after surgery to relieve pressure in an congested blood vessel.

Then President Donald Trump later weighed in to say the rumors were ‘incorrect.’

Rob Crilly

Leave a Reply