Kim Jong-un 'suffering from discomfort'

North Korean leader has not been photographed by state media since appearing at a concert with his wife in September.

    Kim Jong Un, 31, has not been photographed by state media since September [Reuters]
    Kim Jong Un, 31, has not been photographed by state media since September [Reuters]

    North Korea's Kim Jong-un is suffering from "discomfort", state media has said in the first official acknowledgement of ill health after a prolonged period out of the public eye.

    "The wealth and prosperity of our socialism is thanks to the painstaking efforts of our marshal, who keeps lighting the path for the people, like the flicker of a flame, despite suffering discomfort," said a narrator during a documentary aired on state television on Thursday.

    North Korea's leader had been seen walking with a limp since an event with key officials in July and in the pre-recorded documentary broadcast by state media, he appeared to have difficulty walking.

    Kim, 31, has not been photographed by state media since appearing at a concert alongside his wife on September 3, fuelling speculation he is suffering from bad health.

    The documentary was followed by a pre-recorded broadcast of a North Korean Supreme People's Assembly meeting from which Kim Jong-un was notably absent.

    Kim has rapidly gained weight since coming to power after his father died of a heart attack in 2011, photos released by state media show.

    North Korea observers speculate Kim's weight and family background may have contributed to his condition.

    "Based on his gait, it appears he has gout - something (due to) diet and genetic predisposition that has affected other members of the Kim family," said Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership and contributor to the 38 North website.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.