Kim Jong-un had gastric sleeve operation to lose 40lbs – but could still suffer heart attack like his dad, claims doc

 KIM Jong-un is likely to have had a gastric sleeve operation to help him shed 40lbs from his flabby frame, according to a top doctor.

Dr Kenneth Dekleva, a former physician-diplomat at the US State Department, told The Sun Online that a bariatric procedure is the most likely reason for the North Korean leader's dramatic weight loss.

The analyst, who is a senior Fellow at the George HW Bush Foundation for US-China Relations, however said Kim likely remains at risk of a heart attack or stroke despite cleaning up his health.

Dr Dekleva told The Sun Online: "The rapidity and amount of his recent weight loss is consistent with a bariatric surgery procedure, probably a gastric sleeve or bypass procedure."

North Korea is notoriously secretive and getting any definitive information about the regime is very difficult.

But speculation has been running rife as the rotund ruler, 38, has simply got slimmer and slimmer over the last 12 months.

It came after an apparent health scare in 2020 when the dumpy dictator vanished from public view - sparking unfounded speculation that he may have died.

Dr Dekleva believes this absence likely was due to health problems - and he may have had a heart procedure such as a stent placement or cardiac catheterization.And the newly health conscious Kim does appear much fitter than before - despite state media rueing he is "withering away" and is "emaciated".

Dr Dekleva told The Sun Online that Kim seems to be "healthy, vigorous and energetic".

And the woeful descriptions of Kim are likely to be state propaganda to make him more sympathetic to the starving North Korean people.

He believes Kim likely had a procedure to help him lose weight - along with probably taking weight loss medication to help him shed the pounds.

"It is reasonable to infer that both bariatric and medication treatments have been utilized, with a beneficial health outcome for Kim," he said.

The North Korean dictator has likely taken his health into his own hands as he is acutely aware that heart problems run in his family.

His grandad Kim Il-sung and his dad Kim Jong-il both died suddenly from massive heart attacks.

Dr Dekleva noted that while Kim appears much healthier, he remains under risk from "static risk factors" from his family and overall physical health.

The top doctor's 2020 assessment of a then much bigger Kim gave the dictator a one in three chance of a heart attack in the next 10 years.

And he has a variety of other reported problems such as potential hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and damage from years of chain smoking.

But these can likely be managed by his medical team.

Kim is believed to have had a bevy of health problems as the 5ft 6in tyrant is thought to have tipped the scales at over 300lbs at his peak.

Kim Jong-un wears baggy trousers as he shows off his slim new look
Kim Jong-un wears baggy trousers as he shows off his slim new lookCredit: EPA

Such figures would give him a BMI of 47 - putting him well over the range to be morbidly obese.

He has previously been reported to guzzle expensive food, alcohol and smoke like a chimney in a life of extreme excess.

Kim has been reported to have loved expensive imported cheese, wine, steaks caviar and lobster.

His diet is said to have left him suffering bouts of painful gout that required treatment with steroids.

And he has also been reported to suffer from symptoms of focal dystonia, a neurological disease that causes involuntary muscle movements.

While the condition would not impact his health long term, it leads to uncontrollable cramps, spasms, tremors and your body being twisted into unusual conditions.

Dystonia can be caused by a problem with the part of the brain, Parkinson's disease, a stroke or an inherited genetic condition.

Kim may have been motivated to clean up his act as he currently has no clear successor to his throne.

He has three young children, the oldest who whom is a 12-year-old daughter - so none of them are old enough to lead the nation.

Dr Dekleva said Kim's sister Kim Yo-jong would likely currently be the natural choice to carry on the dynasty should something happen to him.


INTELLIGENCE services and insiders have previously claimed Kim Jong-un is a prolific binge eater, drinker and smoker.

The Kim family’s ex-sushi chef Kenji Fujimoto has claimed the dictator once boasted he had consumed “10 bottles of Bordeaux" during a meal.

Kim is also reportedly absolutely crackers about Emmental cheese after developing a taste for it while studying in Switzerland as at teen.

Cheese and wine is not the only treats Kim, 36, enjoys however, with only the best being good enough for the North Korean leader as his people starve and live in poverty.

Kim's staff reportedly brought along a host of high calorie and luxurious foods for their leader during his summit with US President Donald Trump in Vietnam in March 2019.

A team of personal chefs was also brought along to help tend to Kim - with the cook at Hanoi’s luxury Metropole saying they tasted dishes for an hour to make sure they were perfect for their leader.

Cavier and lobster are both also reportedly part of Kim's palate, even though both are banned from being imported into North Korea by the United Nations.

Kim is also a fan of the delicacy shark fin soup, according to Mr Fujimoto.

Booze-loving Kim also reportedly likes to drink at least two bottles of Cristal Champagne per sitting, the chef said.

Bottles of the ritzy plonk can cost up to £7,500 - meaning Kim could drink away £15,000 during every meal.

Hundreds of thousands of bottle of cognac and vodka are also reportedly regularly imported to the Pyongyang, believed to be bound for Kim and the North Korea elite.

Kim is also reported to have pushed from a Western-style burger joint - such as a McDonald's - to open in North Korea during talks with the US.

Kim allegedly hated being called fat - being dubbed Kim Fatty III in Chinese media.

North Korea officials reportedly made a state request to China to get them to drop the nickname.

Other insulting names used by Kim's nearest ally include Kim Fat Fatty and Kim Abundant III.

Donald Trump even called Kim "short and fat" on Twitter as the two traded barbs before their string of high profile summits in 2018.

North Korea experts have previously claimed Kim's weight is actually a well-cultivated ploy to make him look like his revered grandfather Kim Il-sung.

His grandad is also claimed to have been a gourmand,  having cows fed beer and had them massaged to make the meat more tender.

Kim's dad Kim Jong-il also died of a heart attack in 2011.

And while people may crack jokes about Kim's weight battle, around 40% of North Korea's population is undernourished.

"Kim is close to his children – he told Secretary of State Pompeo, his top aide Andrew Kim and President Trump that he wanted to leave a nuclear-free legacy for his children – and it is intriguing to suspect the positive influence of Kim’s wife Ri Song-ju as well.," he said.

"Kim is an aspirational leader who cares about his legacy, especially post-Covid economic development for the DPRK as noted in recent pronouncements and developments."

Steve Grant, a leading nutritionist who runs Steve Grant Health, told The Sun Online that Kim's rapid weight loss has likely had big benefits for his health.

He said: "This has probably gone a long way to helping reverse cardiometabolic risks for diseases such as type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"Weight loss and maintaining a healthier body composition can also go a long way to reducing inflammation in the body, reducing the risk of many cancers and supporting immune function and how our body responds to immune challenges."

He added: " I think people find the weight loss more shocking because they see a before and after picture many months apart.

"This can make people think that he has done something extreme to achieve this."

The expert added he believes Kim may have achieved his weight loss naturally without the use of gastric surgery - saying dropping 44lbs in six months is a "realistic target".

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