Analysts interpretation – In the video, Pyongyang residents were filmed watching a large screen set up in the street in Pyongyang with pictures of a concert attended by Kim and high-ranking officials after a general meeting of the Workers’ Party. Analysts believe Pyongyang is using Kim’s appearance to portray him as a “loyal and hardworking” leader at a time when the country is struggling to tackle a severe food crisis and many other challenges.
closed borders – North Korea closed its borders in January 2020 to protect itself from the COVID-19 pandemic, cut off trade with China, which remains its historic ally and partner, while all international aid workers have left the country.
Kim’s health doubts – Speculation about Kim’s health erupted last year after the leader skipped the April 15 birthday celebration of grandfather Kim Il Sung, the country’s founder, by being absent from public life for nearly 20 days. The father of the “young general” Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung were also obese, smokers and alcohol lovers: both died of heart attacks from chronic diseases and very turbulent lives.
Weight loss? – In 2016, South Korean intelligence reported that Kim had gained at least 130 kilograms, with about 40 kilograms having accumulated since taking power in late 2011. However, in 2020, it was estimated to have gained another 10 kilograms, bringing the total to 140 kilograms. When Kim reappeared in state media in early June after an absence of nearly a month, analysts at NK News, a Seoul-based website that monitors events in the North, noticed that her watch strap appeared tighter around the wrist, just for the sake of losing weight.