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Speculation over Kim Jong-un’s ill health ‘persists’ throughout North Korea

In the Sino-North Korean border region whispers about the supreme leader’s health continue, even after the government attempted to put hearsay to rest by organising a last-minute public appearance for Kim-Jong. The country was left unconvinced by the dictator’s recent attendance to open a fertiliser factory in-front of the national media, after it was claimed that the plant is unfinished and inoperable.

There were some who even believed that the Kim photographed at the event, was a body double.

On Twitter, comparison images were uploaded, that showed differences between old photos and the images published from the factory opening.

The focal point of scepticism comes from the eyes and teeth of the recently pictured Kim Jong, which has been compared with dated photos of a younger Kim to last week’s snapshots.

On closer inspection, the images released by North Korean state media shows that his teeth appear very different from published photos previously by newspapers.

The unnatural way the leader appeared to be walking and that he also had to use a golf cart to be escorted around has also raised eyebrows throughout the nation.

Another rumour that has begun to circulate is that Kim has an issue with his legs.

“People are speculating that Kim Jong Un can’t walk properly right now because he might have gotten leg surgery due to his weight,” the source said.

“Other rumours say that he rode around in a car during the opening ceremony because he couldn’t walk properly, while some say that he was exercising to lose weight but strained himself and had to take a long break to rest.

“There are all sorts of rumours,” he added.

However, the authorities are yet to mention or address the speculation surrounding Kim’s health.

A source revealed to Daily NK: “The general approach seems to be to ignore [the rumours], but they do keep threatening severe penalties for anyone who makes [international] phone calls in the Sino-North Korean border,” he explained.

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“Recently, there was someone who was caught making an [international] call in the mountains,” the source said, adding, “His entire family is completely terrified that the man will be made an example of.”

The particular man in question was a cash broker who was captured after signal detection team discovered him making the call and arrested him.

“Usually people will quickly get rid of the phone battery and swallow the SIM card to escape punishment, but the man didn’t have the time to do that. The arresting officials didn’t accept a bribe, either,” the source said.

There are also those who believe that the claims about Kim’s ill-health have been created by defectors of the secretive state.

A North Hamgyong Province-based source told Daily NK last week: “ After Kim Jong Un resurfaced, people started saying that the defectors in South Korea were the ones that first started to spread rumours of his death,”

“People tend to think that those who betrayed their country and ran away [defectors] made up the story, but they’re also not surprised because they think the society [South Korea] allows groundless rumours to spread quite easily,” he added.

Kim is a chain smoker whose ill health has allegedly caused him to collapse on walks in the past.

The leader was recently seen smiling with a cigarette in his mouth as he attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

He is known to enjoy eating high-fat foods including cheese and washing dinner down with expensive wines.

Many claimed his unhealthy lifestyle may have even lead to his death.

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