What Kim Jong Un’s $ 12,000 Swiss Wristwatch Tells Us About His Weight Loss

Kim weighs 309 pounds, according to the South Korean spy agency estimated last November, but he came out of a prolonged absence looking slimmer

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Kim Jong Un certainly looked slimmer last weekend when he came out of his last long absence. But it is perhaps the North Korean leader’s $ 12,000 Swiss timepiece that provides the clearest evidence that he is watching his weight.

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Kim’s still present IWC Schaffhausen Portofino appears to have been tighter around his wrist in the latest photos released by state media, according to an analysis released Tuesday by NK News.

NK News has gone so far as to compare enlarged images of Kim’s wrist over the past seven months. In a November photo, the leader’s watch seemed to fit his wrist well. But more recent photos show Kim wearing her watch with more bracelets to spare. The pictures reinforce what appears to be Kim’s weight loss.

The weight of the North Korean leader has long been followed by spy agencies for clues to the stability of his autocratic and secretive regime, especially as his family has a history of heart disease. The South Korean spy agency told lawmakers in November that Kim, 37, weighed around 140 kilograms (309 pounds) and had gained around 50 kilograms since taking office in 2011.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center) attends a consultative meeting of senior officials of the Party Central Committee and provincial Party committees at the Party Central Committee offices in Pyongyang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center) attends a consultative meeting of senior officials from the Party Central Committee and provincial Party committees at the Party Central Committee offices in Pyongyang. Photo by AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIA KNS

“Foreign intelligence agencies want to know if Kim Jong Un is healthy enough to remain the leader for a long time,” said Colin Zwirko, senior analytical correspondent for NK News. “What happens behind the scenes if he’s in poor health?” And how does that affect security in the region given that North Korea has nuclear weapons. “

This is far from the first time that people have examined images of Kim for signs of her health and personality in an attempt to learn something about a strong enigmatic man who sits atop a nuclear arsenal.

Why was Kim limping in the 2014 footage? And has North Korea digitally altered its left ear?

When the dictator met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in 2018, a South Korean newspaper asked seven experts to spend hours examining images for clues about the North Korean leader. The investigation suggested that Kim wore insoles to inflate her waist.

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This photo taken on September 20, 2018 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (2nd from left) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (left) posing with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (2nd from right) and his marries Kim Jung-sook (R) on top of Mount Paektu.
This photo taken on September 20, 2018 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (2nd from left) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (left) posing with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (2nd from right) and his marries Kim Jung-sook (R) on top of Mount Paektu. Photo by the Korean Central News Agency

And when Kim’s appearance on a golf cart ride last year ended rumors he was gravely ill, some medical experts speculated that a small mark on his wrist was the proof that he had undergone medical intervention.

Even his rise in 2011 was shrouded in mystery, as US officials did not know of his father’s death for two days, until the regime announced it.
When images of Kim himself aren’t available, analysts and online detectives sometimes turn to satellite imagery to look for signs of his planes, motorcades, trains and boats.

“In a country like North Korea, there is no fuss when it comes to luxury facilities,” Colin Zwirko of the specialist news and analysis service NK Pro told the Washington Post. ‘last year. “These are just the Kim family facilities. There are no other people who could just freely enjoy boat parties or have mansions in remote places.

Kim had not been featured in North Korean state media for about a month before announcing on Saturday that he had attended a ruling party meeting on economic issues. The country’s economy has shown little sign of growth this year after its worst contraction in decades as it continues to grapple with the pandemic, US sanctions and lack of trade with China.

With additional reporting from the Washington Post

Floyd N. Morlan