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Kim Jong Un's $12,000 Watch Shows Off His Weight Loss

 A Seoul-based news website contrasted close-ups of the $12,000 watch from previous months to back up claims that Kim Jong Un, 37, had slimmed down.

Kim-Jong-Un-s-12000-Watch-Shows-Off-His-Weight-Loss | World | KinJong | North Korea | North Korea News | Latest World News
Spy agencies have long monitored Kim Jong Un's weight in order to get insight into the stability of his government.

Kim Jong Un clearly seemed thinner when he returned from his last prolonged trip last weekend. The North Korean leader's Swiss clock, though, may give the strongest indication that he's been monitoring his weight.

According to an analysis published Tuesday by NK News, Kim's ever-present IWC Schaffhausen Portofino looked to be secured tighter around his wrist in the newest photographs issued by state media.

The Seoul-based news site compared close-ups of the $12,000 watch with previous months to back up claims that Kim, 37, had lost weight.

North Korea's leader's weight has long been monitored by espionage agencies for signs about the stability of his dictatorial and secretive system, particularly given his family's history of heart illness.

In November, South Korea's intelligence service informed legislators that Kim weighed an estimated 140 kilograms (309 pounds) and had gained 50 kg since taking office in 2011.

"Foreign intelligence services want to know whether Kim Jong Un is healthy enough to continue as a leader for an extended period of time," stated Colin Zwirko, a senior analytic reporter for NK News. "If he's sick, what's going on behind the scenes? And how does this affect regional security, given North Korea's nuclear arsenal?"

Kim's health became a source of concern across the world when he was missing for 20 days last year, missing birthday ceremonies for his late grandfather and state founder Kim Il Sung.

Kim had had a "cardiovascular surgical treatment," according to the Seoul-based news source Daily NK, and when he eventually emerged, NK News highlighted a mark on his wrist as probable proof to corroborate that hypothesis.

Kim had been absent from North Korean official media for almost a month until rumors Saturday that he had attended a governing party conference on economic concerns.

The country's economy has shown no indication of recovery this year, after the greatest downturn in decades, as it grapples with the epidemic, US sanctions, and a lack of trade with China.

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