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Unification ministry has nothing to say about N.K. leader's health amid speculation over weight loss: official

North Korea 14:13 June 10, 2021

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- The unification ministry is keeping an eye on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's health but currently has nothing to say about any unusual signs amid speculation that he has significantly lost weight, an official said Thursday.

A news report earlier said that Kim appears to have lost a "significant amount of weight" based on the analysis that his wrist watch seems to have been fastened tighter around his wrist during a politburo session of the ruling party last week.

"The ministry is analyzing photos when Kim Jong-un's public activities are reported ... but we have nothing to say about his health issues, and it is not our place to openly comment on it," the official said.

Kim's 20-day absence last year also sparked worldwide speculation over his health and even the possibility of his death. That speculation was soon dismissed when he reappeared at a ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer factory with a broad smile in early May.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presides over a meeting of senior officials of the central committee and provincial party committees of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang on June 7, 2021, in this photo captured from the North's Korean Central Television the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presides over an enlarged politburo meeting of the Workers' Party at the headquarters of the party's Central Committee in Pyongyang on Nov. 15, 2020, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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