Kim Jong-un withdrew from public life after gorging on cheese as country starved

Kim Jong-un once withdrew from public life after eating too much cheese while North Koreans starved.

The dictator’s obsession with cheese once saw him reach a staggering 20st.

His reported love of the food stemmed from when he was a student at the private International School of Berne in Switzerland from 1993 until 1998.

The North Korean famine, also known as the Arduous March or the March of Suffering, was a period of mass starvation together from 1994 to 1998.

According to a report by the Daily Mirror, he even has special shipments delivered to the state, while he also sent envoys to France so that North Korean cooks could enroll on cheese-making courses.

It is alleged that in 2014, his cheese obsession got so out of control, that he had to retreat from public life.

One expert even claimed that Kim suffered from gout due to his love of food.

Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership, previously told the Daily Mirror: “Based on his gait, it appears he has gout ‒ something due to a diet and genetic predisposition that has affected other members of the Mr Kim family."

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His love of food could be a thing of the past, however, as the North Korean leader seems to be slimmer than ever, with speculation suggesting that he was suffering from health issues.

North Korean authorities insisted the leader is merely eating less “for the sake of the country” in light of severe food shortages, which have come as a result of severe flooding among other things.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, North Korea was short of 860,000 tonnes of food in 2021 – an equivalent of 2.3 months of food use.

At the party meeting in December, Kim pledged to “increase the agricultural production and completely solve the food problem”.

He stressed the production goals were “to be attained phase by phase in the coming 10 years”, according to the North Korean Central News Agency.

In April last year, Kim made a rare admission of impending strife in the nation.

He called on officials to “wage another, more difficult ‘Arduous March’ in order to relieve our people of the difficulty, even a little.”

The Arduous March refers to the country's famine in the Nineties, after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Last July, the state ordered its citizens to produce their own food, in anticipation of food shortages lasting three years.

Three months later, he told North Korean citizens the country’s food supply would be affected until 2025 when it will reopen its border with China.

The two countries closed their borders and suspended all trade in 2020, which cut off food imports and farmers’ access to fertiliser.

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