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North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un appears to be living the high life while his Hermit Kingdom battles the twin perils of Covid-19 and food shortages.
The dictator has retreated to his secure compound near the Wonsan naval base on the country’s eastern coast.
There, Kim’s lavish private estate features its own train station, a basketball court, and a dock for the dictator’s 260ft party boat which boasts an Olympic-sized pool with two twisting waterslides.
The dock area is also littered with smaller boats and jet-skis for use by the dictator and his entourage.
The formerly tubby tyrant sparked concerns last time he appeared in public, shedding up to three stone according to South Korea's National Intelligence Service.
South Korean MP Kim Byeong-kee, a member of the government intelligence committee, quoted the agency as saying that "Kim Jong Un recently lost around 10 to 20 kilograms of weight, and is conducting normal governance activities”.
Kim is known to be a heavy smoker and has spent a lot of his life obese with his weight increasing steadily for a number of years.
South Korea's intelligence unit claimed he reached 22 stone in 2020, having stacked on around a stone per year since coming to power in 2011.
But meanwhile, the North Korean people are starving.
Last week, the Pyongyang government admitted to a United Nations committee that food production dropped to its lowest ever level in 2018 due to “natural disasters and weak resilience, insufficient farming materials and low level of mechanisation.”
While the North Korean government rarely admits its problems, Kim appeared in North Korean state media last month and confessed that the “food situation is now getting tense.”
The Pyongyang government blames many of North Korea’s on UN Security Council sanctions put in place to discourage the North Koreans from developing nuclear weapons.
The “main obstacles to the government’s efforts to achieve the sustainable development of the country,” according to the report submitted to the UN, include the “continued sanctions and blockade on the DPRK”.
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