PYONGYANG — While definitive information regarding the health of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un is notably absent, the secretive nation reported its first obesity related death in more than 70 years today, leading some Pentagon officials to believe the “Hermit Kingdom” has turned a corner in both agricultural development, and potentially human rights.
“For decades, the top three official causes of death in North Korea were rickets, scurvy, and acute cerebral lead poisoning,” one analyst said. “The first two are due to malnutrition and the third cause is due to talking about the first two. So, an obesity related death is huge for them. Whoever this guy was, he’s probably being idolized as some sort of hero.
“Still, while this news is interesting, I wish we had a clue as to whether or not Kim [Jong-Un] is alive or dead.”
The analyst was referring to unsubstantiated reports that Kim Jong-Un, supreme leader of the DPRK, is in a vegetative state following a botched heart surgery.
The North Korean Health Ministry sent a short and somewhat awkwardly worded report to the World Health Organization (seen below) that does not provide the level of detail WHO officials typically receive from national level health agencies. Nonetheless, the report clearly states the cause of death for the unnamed man was “heart disease as a result of extreme obesity.”
A copy of the message (above) that North Korean health officials sent to the WHO regarding the obesity related death.
Some intelligence analysts say the revelation may signal a turning point for a country whose population has suffered widespread depravations at the hands of its leadership, but others say they are cautious not to read too deeply into the single source report.
“I don’t think we should celebrate too much,” an unnamed intelligence analyst said, on condition of anonymity. “One dead fat guy does not necessarily mean the end of decades of famine and oppression, you know.”
“If only the North Koreans could find some way to smuggle out a message about Kim Jong-Un. Now that would be news.”