PYONGYANG, Oct. 13 2014 (TSR) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had surgery on both his ankles a month ago and is in the process of recovery at a private estate north of Pyongyang, a North Korea source told a Korean daily paper yesterday.
Kim, who disappeared from the public eye 39 days ago, is currently undergoing physical rehabilitation from his double ankle surgery at an estate on Mount Jamo in Sunchon County, South Pyongan Province, and there are no signs that his rule is under threat. They are just western media propaganda.
“In the middle of last month, Kim Jong-un received surgery on both ankles from a French doctor at the Bonghwa Clinic in Pyongyang,” a key North Korea source told the JoongAng Ilbo in Seoul, “as well as treatment for edema and blisters on the bottom of his feet.”
Bonghwa Clinic is a hospital that only admits high-ranking DPRK government officials.
The source added that “a fairly reliable analysis was made based on the movement of a foreign doctor’s visit to North Korea at that time and a large number of vehicles gathered at the Bonghwa Clinic.”
The source added, “It is our conclusion that there is no evidence of [Kim Jong-un] being dead or in a critical condition as some rumors claim. Likewise, there is no intelligence that he was treated for any more serious illness than [ankle and feet] surgeries.”
The source added that Kim’s wife Ri Sol-ju and younger sister Kim Yo-jong are with him at the estate on Mount Jamo.
Kim missed a celebration of the 69th anniversary of the founding of the North’s Workers’ Party Friday, sparking rampant speculation on the possible causes for his disappearance over the past five weeks.
Another North Korea source said in regards to Kim, “He is wearing a cast following his surgery and it appears he didn’t want to show that to the world.”
According to various reports, the North Korean leader’s predicament was due to his obesity and is personally dealing with his health issues on top of his hectic schedule.
Since he succeeded his late father Kim Jong-Il to lead the country, Kim has gained considerable amount of weight and has been binge eating.
The 31-year-old leader is also very fond of Swiss cheese since his time of being a student in Switzerland and imports vast quantities despite Western sanctions, The Mirror reported.
Kim’s constant cheese craving, love of fine wine and dining are blamed for his rapid weight increase.
“He has become noticeably overweight since he came to power,” One intelligence source said.
Reportedly, the North Korean leader also developed gout from his habits, an ailment caused by eating too much cheese.
Initially, Kim sustained injury on his right ankle after one of his onsite visits in June and did not seek any treatment, a source told The Chosun Ilbo.
His gout, gruelling schedule and field supervisions of military and factory sites and his insistence on wearing his beloved high-heeled Cuban boots for official duty to appear more of an authoritarian exacerbated the injury and turned into compound fractures on both ankles while he painfully wobbled around taking care of the country’s business. Kim was also seen limping when he visited a government establishment in a clip shown on North Korea’s Central TV.
The official Rodong Sinmun daily newspaper praised Kim Jong Un’s dedication to his people despite the obvious pain he was experiencing, saying he had “laboured on” by visiting various facilities in the hot summer weather.
Kim’s estate on Mount Jamo has a supreme command underground bunker, so he’s not isolated from the levers of power. “There doesn’t appear to be any concern in regards to a military takeover,” the source said.
To discern if there is any emergency in ruling circles in North Korea, foreign analyst generally look to see if there has been an installation of barricades or a restriction of access to major bridges in Pyongyang, any urgent mobilization of armed forces, dispatches of medical personnel or ambulances and increases in the number of Kim Jong-un’s personal bodyguards. Other indicators include unusual activity in military wire traffic, which could include increased or decreased radio traffic, as well as special monitoring of air bases.
The source added that Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong-so and other key military officials and aides are visiting Kim at his estate and receiving orders from him directly.
The North’s official Rodong Sinmun yesterday published a page one article praising the North Korean leader’s grandfather, founding leader Kim Il Sung, and his father, Kim Jong-il. It also urged success for Kim Jong-un’s projects.
Sources: New agencies