Kim Jong-un’s weight loss down to Covid ‘preventing him from importing cheese’

Photos have been released by North Korea which show the totalitarian state's leader, Kim Jong-un, looking noticeably slimmer.

The dictator showed off his slick new look during a key ruling party meeting towards the end of 2021, with authorities insisting Jong-un was eating less "for the sake of the country", which is experiencing severe food shortages.

And Metro reports that the leader's weight loss could be down to North Korea's tough border closures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, thereby preventing Jong-un from getting hold of his favourite food.

The tyrant reportedly has an "obsession" with Swiss cheese, and indulged in so much of it that he weighed 20 stone at one point, becoming so overweight that he "fractured his ankles".

It's also thought that he loves fried chicken, Russian vodka, Hennessey Cognac and champagne.

North Korea expert, Dr Sojin Lim, said: "We know that he has good sources, he enjoys cheese, he’s a heavy drinker, he has access to all junk foods.

"But because of these border closures the way he brings all these foods into North Korea will have been cut. So he doesn’t have the same variety anymore.

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"At the same time, he can’t sustain his figure as a fat person because in the domestic environment people are starving.

"If he sustains that look, that will only add to the grievances of people. So tactically it could coincide with that."

It has been suggested by some defectors of the communist regime that Kim may have gained weight on purpose in a bid to look like his bulky grandfather, North Korea's founder, Kim Il-sung.

Dr Lim, also a senior lecturer and co-director of the International Institute of Korean studies at the University of Central Lancashire, said: "He can’t access certain food anymore but at the same time losing weight doesn’t mean he’s losing his legacy from his grandfather.

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"It also shows people that “I’m with you, I’m not taking all this food for myself, I’m like you, I’m also suffering.”

"Because of his cult of personality and propaganda, all of his image is crafted – nothing is natural. It’s not so different from here, with Boris Johnson and his hairstyle."

North Korea hasn't confirmed a single case of coronavirus, but its strict 'zero Covid' policy is having a severe impact on its people.

It has locked down entire cities and has even implemented a ‘shoot on sight’ policy at its border with South Korea.

In a desperate bid to boost its economy, the state resumed cross border rail freight deliveries between China in November – but imports are kept in a quarantine facility for one week before being distributed across North Korea.

Corruption and economic mismanagement is part of the problem, but sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the US in response to North Korea’s nuclear programme are also a factor.

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