North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was suffering from “discomfort,” state media reported in the first official acknowledgement of ill health. Kim, 31, the centerpiece of the isolated country’s propaganda, had earlier been seen walking with a limp. Then he disappeared from the public eye for six weeks.
“The wealth and prosperity of our socialism is thanks to the painstaking efforts of our marshal, who keeps lighting the path for the people, like the flicker of a flame, despite suffering discomfort,” a voice-over for the hour-long documentary said. Kim has rapidly gained weight since coming to power after his father died of a heart attack in 2011, photos released by state media show. “Based on his gait, it appears he has gout,” said Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership.
Then, another explanation came to light. CNN reported that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had had a cyst removed from his right ankle. “European experts” handled the surgery for tarsal tunnel syndrome. The syndrome is caused by compression at the ankle — known to cause pain during standing and walking.