While North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un delivered another tirade against the United States during a New Year’s Day address, his trembling voice may signal he is suffering from a “kidney problem,” an audio forensic expert told Korea Times on Tuesday.
Cho Dong-uk, a professor at Chungnam State University, analyzed the speech recording for energy and tremors and concluded that Kim has possible kidney issues.
“At least, the samples show that his kidneys are weaker than other organs,” Cho told Korea Times.
Kidney ailments cause fluids to build up in a person’s body and swell organs. Cho noted that Kim’s obesity, drinking, and smoking as potential causes for the problem.
Kim’s health’s issues are kept secret by the North Korean regime, among other secrets, including the dictator’s birthday and how many children he has fathered.
Questions about Kim’s health surfaced in December after he missed a memorial ceremony for his father that he never misses. Kim’s father died of a heart attack in 2011. Kim has not missed a memorial service since.
Kim’s weight appears to have ballooned in recent months. He was also seen sweating profusely during a visit to a shoe factory with his wife. Kim sat down at one point and appeared to be in pain.
The communist dictator has a penchant for “extremely rare delicacies,” according to a North Korean defector, The Mirror reported. He has schoolgirls at his Pyongyang homes serve him extravagant dishes, including a $2,700 bird’s nest soup.
Kim flies in chefs from all over the world to cook him lavish meals, including sushi and pizza, Daily Star reported. He loves expensive cheeses, beer, and fish, and gets the products imported regularly for himself and the ruling elite.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of North Koreans live in abject poverty with even the military suffering from constant food shortages.
North Korea is a stark example of late-stage communism, with a select elite class living lavishly while the populace starves. A vast, nationwide network of forced labor camps is the main means of production. Hundreds of thousands of people are feared to have perished there.
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