A TV host has been criticised for praising North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s appearance.
A noticeably slimmed down Kim was spotted at a parade marking North Korea’s celebration of its 73rd anniversary on Wednesday. Kim was seen beaming in a cream suit with children and senior officials by his side.
He smiled widely, kissed the children who presented him with flowers and waved to the crowd before taking his spot at a balcony overlooking the brightly lit Kim Il Sung Square, named after his grandfather who founded the nation in 1948.
Kim’s weight loss didn’t go noticed by Fox News in the US.
Presenter Rachel Campos-Duffy said, during a broadcast of the footage, the North Korean leader should change his name to “Slim Jong-un” and said "he looks good".
“He’s fit, he’s fun and he’s fascist,” she said.
“Take a look at Kim Jong-un flaunting his new tan and slim physique at the North Korean military parade.”
She added Kim looks better than US President Joe Biden. Biden is 78. Kim is 37.
On Twitter, people weren’t exactly thrilled with Campos-Daffy praising a dictator.
One man called it “absolutely f***ing shameful”.
“WTF is wrong with these people?” one woman tweeted.
Others called her comments “embarrassing” and “pathetic”.
“He does look good. I’m sorry, he looks better than our president” — Fox News’ Rachel Campos Duffy on Kim Jong Un pic.twitter.com/KhemkqPk5d
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 10, 2021
While it might seem shallow to comment on the North Korean leader’s appearance, or anyone’s for that matter, countries and intelligence agencies across the globe have been closely monitoring his weight, particularly as there has been no explanation for it.
Experts believe he is either intentionally losing weight or might be unwell. Kim was reportedly an alcoholic and a smoker. There were also rumours which circulated last year that he was unwell and at death’s door.
Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told Seoul-based NK News earlier this year that if Mr Kim did intentionally lose weight it gives Japan and South Korea confidence “he will be running the show”.
University of Sydney’s Professor Justin Hastings told Yahoo News Australia it is possible Mr Kim has lost weight for a completely different reason: “to portray himself in North Korea as one of youthful vigour (such as riding triumphantly on a horse)”.
“It could be as simple as him wanting to, or needing to, lose and keep off weight for his own health, and to maintain a sustainable public image,” he said.
“I would also imagine that being morbidly obese does not play well when Kim Jong-un has proclaimed recently that North Korea is going through a second Arduous March (a period of famine) brought on by the border closures due to Covid.”
Kim also appeared in July with what looked like bandages on the back of his head.
Deakin University counter-terrorism expert Greg Barton said it is possible the North Korean leader is ill and the bandages were from undergoing bariatric surgery.
Experts believe Kim is facing perhaps his toughest moment as he approaches a decade in rule, with North Korea maintaining an indefinite border lockdown to keep out the coronavirus, and no prospect in sight for the ending of international sanctions.
with The Associated Press
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