The North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was photographed this week with a mystery dark spot on his head that was covered by a small bandage at times.

Fox News reported that the mysterious spot was visible during a military event and in footage from a war veterans conference Kim attended late last month. The spot was not seen during the last two public appearances that Kim made on June 29 and July 11.


While official footage seemingly tried to avoid showing the mark on Kim’s head last month, state media photos showed the bandage. Other recent images show that the 37-year-old dictator has lost a large chunk of weight, leading to even more questions about his health.

Some reports have stated that Kim may be taking weight loss medication or had a bariatric surgery procedure such as a gastric sleeve or a gastric bypass. Other reports have said that the coronavirus pandemic might have led Kim to take drastic health action since his morbid obesity and likely cardiovascular disease are high-risk factors for the virus.

This comes weeks after it was reported that Kim had issued a brutal threat to anyone who is caught wasting food in his hermit kingdom as it faces yet another famine.

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“At the beginning of this month, the Central Committee [of the Korean Workers’ Party] ordered residents to actively participate in solving our food crisis this year as part of a food-saving struggle,” a North Korean official from the nation’s North Hamgyong province told Radio Free Asia.

“The order emphasized that the struggle not only solves the problem of how we will eat, it is a matter of protecting the socialist system,” added the official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It also warned that authorities will step up crackdowns and punishment for any actions related to food waste.”


North Korea’s economy has been hit particularly hard by coronavirus, as the hermit kingdom was forced to seal its border with China, its biggest trading partner, back in January. Yahoo News reported that Korea’s International Trade Association revealed earlier this week that North Korea’s trade with China shrank 73% through September, and is on track to plummet 80% for the entire year.

This piece originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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