Mr Yoo said Kim Jong Un has fallen into a "vicious cycle" of smoking and boozing.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un may be suffering from a sleep disorder and a potentially worsening alcohol and nicotine dependency, South Korea's spy agency said on Wednesday, as per Bloomberg.
Citing the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the outlet reported that the North Korean authorities are "intensely" collecting overseas medical information for top-ranking officials with insomnia, including details on medications used to treat it, like Zolpidem.
Yoo Sang-bum, a lawmaker for South Korea's ruling People Power Party and executive secretary of the parliamentary intelligence committee, shared details of the NIS briefing with reporters. He said that North Korea has recently imported a large number of foreign cigarettes from brands including Marlboro and Dunhill, as well as high-end snacks traditionally served with alcohol.
Further, citing artificial intelligence (AI) analysis of recent pics, Mr Yoo said that Mr Kim also appears to have gained weight. According to him, the North Korean leader is estimated to weigh over 140 kilograms.
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According to New York Post, Mr Yoo said that Mr Kim appears to be falling into a "vicious cycle" of relying on boozing and smoking, fueling "significant sleep disorders". "He appeared tired with clear dark circles around his eyes during his public appearance on May 16," the intelligence committee member said, claiming Mr Kim is also hoarding "medications such as zolpidem, for the treatment of insomnia".
Speaking to reporters, Mr Yoo also noted that the plight of North Koreans has worsened with increasing food shortages and a spike in grain prices to the highest level since Mr Kim took power. Crimes, suicides and deaths from starvation have also increased in the nation, the South Korean official said.
Meanwhile, in recent days, North Korea failed to launch a satellite into orbit and promised to revive efforts soon. This incident prompted an erroneous emergency alert from the Seoul government that caused panic. South Korea's spy agency told lawmakers that the North Korean leader likely observed the launch.