• Asia-Pacific

N. Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Said to Suffer from Insomnia, Weigh over 140 Kg

File photo / Korean Central News Agency / Korea News Service via AP
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a military parade to mark the 75th founding of the Korean People’s Army in Pyongyang on Feb. 8.

SEOUL — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un apparently has more weight to throw around, as South Korea’s intelligence agency speculates he now tips the scales at over 140 kilograms, possibly resulting from a sleep disorder.

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) said that Kim has been suffering from severe insomnia, surmising that dealing with the deteriorating food situation in the country has put him under intense stress.

Kim, who is believed to be 39, has recently developed dark circles under his eyes and has become a heavy drinker and smoker, with a growing addiction to nicotine, the NIS stated in a report submitted to the National Assembly on Wednesday.

North Korea purchased the sleep-inducing drug Zolpidem in April overseas “to treat its highest-ranking figure for insomnia” and gathered medical information on the malady.

Kim’s weight was estimated using artificial intelligence, according to the NIS, and it has increased despite speculation that he had gone on a diet around 2021.

In addition, Kim has been seen with scratches on his arms and other places from late last year, which are believed to be due to a skin condition caused by a combination of stress and allergies.

The NIS report said that the the worsening food situation has pushed the price of rice in North Korea to record highs during Kim’s reign, leading to an increase in the number of people dying of starvation.

Suicides in the country are on the rise, and Kim has reportedly issued emergency orders to implement preventive measures, the report said.