South Korea’s spy agency says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have lost more than 40 pounds

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a meeting with senior officials from the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee and Provincial Party Committees in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on June 8, 2021 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a meeting with senior officials from the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee and Provincial Party Committees in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on June 8, 2021 by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)

  • Kim Jong Un has been losing weight, and now we have an idea of just how much.
  • South Korea’s spy agency believes Kim has lost as much as 44 pounds.
  • Kim’s health and weight are of interest to intelligence agencies because they speak to the regime’s health.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has lost a lot of weight, possibly more than 40 pounds, according to South Korea’s spy agency.

The National Intelligence Service believes Kim has lost 10 to 20 kg (22 to 44 pounds), a South Korean lawmaker briefed by the agency told reporters Thursday, Bloomberg reported.

The intelligence agency said in November that Kim weighed just over 300 pounds. When the young dictator took power about a decade ago, the NIS estimated that he weighed just under 200 pounds.

Kim is said to be about 5 foot 7 inches tall, so at more than 300 pounds, the North Korean leader, who is said to be in his mid-30s, would be considered severely obese and potentially at risk for a variety of health problems. The risk is higher given his affinity for chain smoking and heavy drinking, not to mention the high stress of running a brutal regime facing significant international pressure for its illegal weapons programs and human rights abuses.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a plenary meeting of the Workers' Party central committee in Pyongyang, North Korea in this photo supplied by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on February 9, 2021
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a plenary meeting of the Workers’ Party central committee in Pyongyang, North Korea in this photo supplied by North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) on February 9, 2021

In the 2019 book “The Great Successor: The Secret Rise and Rule of Kim Jong Un,” seasoned reporter and North Korea expert Ana Fifield described the young leader as looking “like a heart attack waiting to happen.”

But after a decade of substantial weight gain, his weight now appears to be dropping.

Insider, citing an NK News analysis, reported in June that Kim appeared to be losing weight. In photos, his face looked smaller, his clothes fit looser, and he was clearly able to cinch his $12,000 Portofino Automatic watch made by IWC Schaffhausen much tighter on his wrist.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a meeting with senior officials from the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee and Provincial Party Committees in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on June 8, 2021 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a meeting with senior officials from the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee and Provincial Party Committees in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on June 8, 2021 by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

A few weeks later, North Korean state media reported that some in North Korea were concerned about Kim’s weight loss.

“Seeing respected general secretary (Kim Jong Un) looking emaciated breaks our people’s heart so much,” a Pyongyang resident said during a Korean Central Television broadcast, Reuters reported. “Everyone is saying their tears welled up.”

Although it is possible that a noticeably slimmer Kim could be the result of an illness, the South Korean lawmaker who discussed the intelligence community’s view of the situation said there do not appear to be any health abnormalities, Bloomberg reported.

Specifically, there is nothing strange about how he walks, nor has he stopped holding “hours-long meetings,” the lawmaker said.

Kim’s health, his weight included, gets a lot of scrutiny from the intelligence community because it offers insight into the health and stability of the North Korean regime, especially considering the uncertainty surrounding succession if the regime’s third leader dies young.

“Succession is very unclear if something were to happen to Kim Jong Un,” Sue Mi Terry, a North Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, previously told Insider. “We know he’s unhealthy. So we need to care” about his weight gain, loss, and overall health.

Terry said that leadership health is probably “one of the most important indicators” of regime stability. For North Korea, she said, “Kim Jong Un’s health is the biggest wild card.”

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A psychotherapist says there are 3 common reasons so many people’s New Year’s resolutions end in failure

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Struggling to keep your New Year’s resolution might mean you’re not setting the right kind of goal.

  • Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but few people actually see them through.
  • Psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert told Business Insider three of the biggest reasons why our New Year’s resolutions fail.
  • People often don’t make their resolutions specific enough, they’re worded too negatively, and they’re not relevant to the individual, he said. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Millions of people in the US make New Year’s resolutions each year, but only a small fraction of them manage to keep them.

If you struggle to keep your New Year’s resolution, one expert says you might not be setting the right kind of goal.

Business Insider spoke with psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert, author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” who broke down three of the biggest reasons people fail to complete their resolutions each year.

Here’s what he said:

Your resolution isn’t specific enough

One of the biggest reasons people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions is because they’re not specific enough, Alpert told Business Insider.

For example, resolving to “exercise more” or “lose weight” are easy ways to set yourself up for failure, as they lack ways to mark progress and are unlikely to keep you motivated throughout the year.

Instead, try making your goal specific, like running a particular 5K you have circled on the calendar or losing 10 pounds by a certain date.

FILE PHOTO: Runners race during the 2018 New York City Marathon in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 4, 2018. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo
Running a 5k is fun and definitely doable.

“It’s easier to drop out or walk away when you set goals or resolutions that are vague,” Alpert told Business Insider. “When it’s really detailed and specific, it’s harder to walk away from it.”

Having a timeline on your resolution is helpful, he said, so think of short-term, medium-term, and long-term benchmarks that will let you know you’re on track to achieving your goal.

“What do I need to do this week, what do I need to do over the next month or so, and what do I hope to accomplish over the next several months?” Alpert said.

You aren’t framing them positively

Another problem people face when making resolutions is framing them with negative language.

When people resolve to stop wasting money or stop eating junk food, for example, it often backfires because it makes them think about the very thing they’re trying to avoid.

“It’s almost like I say to you, ‘I don’t want you to think about what a zebra with pink and blue stripes looks like,” Alpert told Business Insider. “You kind of have to think about what that would look like not to think about it, right?”

Try framing your goal in positive language instead.

“So much of how we talk to ourselves impacts our actions and our behavior,” Alpert said.

“We need to feed ourselves positive self-talk. Instead of telling ourselves ‘Don’t eat junk food,’ we should be telling us the behavior we desire, like ‘Eat carrots and peanut butter as a healthy snack.'”

Your resolution isn’t about you

Another major obstacle people face is the tendency to make New Year’s resolutions that don’t reflect what they actually want.

The biggest culprits are dieting and exercise trends, Alpert said. But it can apply to any number of goals, like a career-related goal inspired by what you think other people expect of you.

“Goals need to be made for the individual,” Alpert said. “So often, people seem to be influenced by their friends, their family, what they see in society.”

“I think it’s important for people to set goals that are for themselves and unique to themselves.”

Read the original article on Business Insider