Things are anything but normal in North Korea, arguably the world’s most backward country, with new images released Thursday that confirm this.
The images show North Korea’s brutal leader proudly displaying his ever-expanding belly in an open pinstripe suit, surrounded by military officials nearly half the size of the ‘Supreme Leader’.
Jong-un’s weight gain and its associated health effects has been a hot topic of world politics in recent months, with the weight gain believed to be associated with a love of Swiss cheese.
The 32 year old dictator developed a taste for the high fat dairy products during his time as a student in Switzerland, and now imports vast quantities for his personal consumption.
His diet and lack of exercise have had dire consequences on his health, causing him to disappear for three weeks in September last year, only to emerge with a cane and bandages.
Analysts attributed his illness to gout and a broken ankle caused by his immense size and love of wearing Cuban heel shoes.
Such medical scares lead to further destabilization of the country, as if the leader is perceived to be weak he could be overthrown by his top generals or family members. As he eats himself to death the behavior of the country becomes increasingly erratic.
While poor health runs in Jong-un’s family, causing his father Kim Jong-il to die because of high blood pressure and diabetes, in North Korea, where food is scarce, being fat is actually seen as a positive thing.
70 per cent of the 24.6 million people in North Korea are deemed to be “food insecure”, according to the UN, which makes them skinny and deeply envious of those who can eat enough to put on weight.
This odd social phenomenon mirrors the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries in western culture where sporting a belly was considered a sign of wealth and power.
North Korean defector Cho Myung-Chul, of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, said: “North Koreans think being fat is good, unlike South Koreans who want to be skinny. There is a high chance Jong-un intentionally gained weight to look like Il-sung.”