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Historic inter-Korean summit draws speculations about Kim Jong-un’s health
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2018.04.27 18:46
  • Updated 2018.04.27 18:46
  • comments 0

A historic summit between South and North Korea occurred as the two leaders sat down at the Peace House, bringing the state of Kim Jong-un’s health into the public eye.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shake hands before the historic summit held at the truce village of Panmunjom Friday.

The summit marked the first appearance of the North Korean leader on South Korean media with reporters, spectators, and commentators both in Korea and abroad watching Kim Jong-un’s actions with great interest.

One local physician posted his thoughts on Facebook.

“It looks like Kim needs to start taking care of his weight first if he wants to see the barrier to the Panmunjeom lowered and to maintain the atmosphere of inter-Korean reconciliation,” said a Korean professor at a university hospital in Korea who declined to be named.

It is difficult to rule out the possibility of metabolic diseases, hypertension, and diabetes due to morbid obesity, he added.

Leading up to peace talks Friday, local news outlet Money Today put together an infographic that compared the two leaders on various aspects, including height and weight.

The infographic showed Moon to stand at around 170 centimeters and 67 kilograms. Kim Jong-un was also about 170 cm but exceeding 100 kg, indicating that he had a BMI exceeding 40 kg/㎡.

The BMI index indicates people over 40 kg/㎡ to be morbidly obese. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, morbidly fat people may experience “obesity-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.”

Spectators, while comparing the two leaders standing side-by-side, have commented that Kim - although 30 years younger than the 65-year-old Moon – looks to weigh much more than the South Korean president.

Meanwhile, Kim also brought a personal toilet to the talks, according to local reports. The North Korean leader has been known for carrying around a personal toilet to minimize the risk of exposing his health status through his fecal matter.


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