North Korea's Kim Jong Un seen with head bandage, sparks yet another round of health speculation

Kim Jong Un was seen in event in July without the bandage about the size of a few postage stamps and in some a dark greenish spot or bruise on his head could be seen.
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service believes there have been no unusual signs regarding Kim’s health. (AP File Photo)
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service believes there have been no unusual signs regarding Kim’s health. (AP File Photo)
Published on Oct 03, 2021 02:36 PM IST
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By hindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray

Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, has been seen with a dark spot as well as a bandage at the back of his head during several public events last month, according to reports. According to the NK News site, Kim Jong Un appeared at events of the Korean People’s Army from July 24 to July 27 and was also seen in footage of a war veterans conference and related programmes from July 27 to July 29.

The images from these events show Kim Jong Un without the bandage about the size of a few postage stamps and in some a dark greenish spot or bruise on his head could be seen, NK News site reported. "The cause or nature of the large, dark green spot or bruise on the rear right side of his head, which was covered with a bandage in some footage, is still unknown and is difficult to diagnose using only images," it said.

Also read | Propaganda value, optics behind thinner Kim Jong Un, say analysts

NK News also said that the mark on Kim Jong Un's head was not seen at a politburo meeting on June 29 as it reported that photos of the 37-year-old leader released from an appearance with musicians on July 11 did not show the back of his head.

The Yonhap News Agency reported on Tuesday that South Korea’s National Intelligence Service believes there have been no unusual signs regarding Kim Jong Un’s health. It cited lawmakers briefed by the spy agency, which added the patch was removed after a few days and there was no scar.

This is not the first time that Kim Jong Un's injuries or health issues, which have been carefully controlled by state media outlets, have come out in the public. The latest photos come after a state media outlet in June cited a citizen as saying that North Koreans broke down in tears after seeing a dramatically thinner Kim after being absent for most of the previous month.

In July, South Korean lawmaker Kim Byung-kee briefed by the National Intelligence Service said that Kim Jong Un lost between 10 and 20 kilogrammes but has no major health issues affecting his rule. “If there is an abnormality in his health, there should be signs that drugs are being imported to the clinic that’s in charge of Kim’s health, but that was not detected, adding that Kim Jong Un still hosts hours-long meetings and there’s nothing unusual about how he walks," the lawmaker said.

Also read | Explained: Why Kim Jong Un’s weight issue is a talking point across the world

Kim was absent from the public eye for six weeks in 2014 and reappeared walking with a cane, raising speculation he could be suffering from gout.

A bandage was seen around his left wrist in November 2015 and a bandage around his finger in June 2019. During a May Day 2020 event at a fertiliser factory, Kim was seen with marks on his wrists fuelling speculation he may have undergone a medical procedure. There was an apparently bruised or smashed finger during a politburo meeting in June this year.

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Monday, October 18, 2021