Kim Jong-un gives fitness advice to staff at his local gym
Rotund supreme leader offers 'expert guidance' but critics say he should be helping malnourished North Koreans
NORTH KOREAN supreme leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly been offering fitness advice at a state-of-the-art gym built at his request.
Kim, described as "portly" by The Daily Telegraph, has visited the three-storey Physical Exercise Centre in Pyongyang. Wearing his trademark baggy Mao-style suit, he examined the gym equipment and toured the wave therapy pool, the recovery room and a room for table-tennis.
Kim was apparently providing "expert guidance" to the staff, telling them that if office workers take exercise and receive medical treatment at the centre, "they can devote themselves to revolutionary work in good health".
North Korea's state media agency KCNA claims Kim is "always deeply concerned for the promotion of people's health and living standards”.
Kim was accompanied by his new wife, Ri Sol-ju, who an unnamed South Korean government official has described as his "best asset". The glamorous Ri Sol-ju has accompanied her husband on a spate of well-publicised visits in what looks like a bid from the supreme leader to appear caring and benevolent to the people of North Korea.
But some have expressed disappointment at seeing Kim smiling at amusement parks and fitness centres while his country has been suffering the worst drought in a century followed by terrible floods.
Aid agencies have warned that while the privileged classes in Pyongyang will not go hungry, many people in rural areas are suffering malnutrition. North Korea’s state media said that 200 people had been killed by the floods and more than 200,000 were left homeless, while thousands of hectares of crops were destroyed.
Yesterday South Korean activists launched balloons carrying leaflets critical of the North's ruling family to coincide with the regime's 64th anniversary.
Kim Jong-un has vowed not to let his people starve again but critics in the south have said the only thing to change since Kim took power after his father Kim Jong-il died in December last year is the prominence of his new wife.