The North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is heavily overweight at 22 stone (308lb), it was revealed as the Asian country introduced a ban on public smoking as per a new health drive, according to reports. The Supreme Leader has got almost eight stone (110lb) in the last eight years, the nation's National Intelligence Service told the lawmakers on Tuesday.

But the NIS stated that the rumors regarding the health of the dictator are exaggerated and he is otherwise fit and healthy despite having a BMI of 51.3. This year, there were rumors that Kim had become seriously ill or had even lost his life after he did not attend a ruling party showpiece on April 15.

Kim Jong Un and His Health

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North Korea leader Kim Jong Un. Reuters

The news of his health comes as the Supreme People's Assembly on Wednesday brought the smoking bans in a few of the public places for providing the citizens with 'hygienic living environments'. The law targets to protect the lives and health of the people by strengthening the legal and social controls on the production and sale of cigarettes, the state media KCNA confirmed.

The law states that smoking is banned in specific venues, like the political or ideological education centers, cinemas, theaters, and medical and public health facilities, as per reports. North Korea has a high rate of smoking tobacco with around 43.9 percent of the male population are smokers as of 2013, as per the WHO.

The Supreme Leader is also known as a chain smoker who is frequently seen with a cigarette in photographs. Kim was spotted taking a cigarette break at a railway station in Nanning located in China in 2019 when he was on his way to Hanoi for his summit with US President Donald Trump. When Kim reemerged after vanishing from public view it came as a blow to the defectors from North Korea who had speculated that he was severely ill or even dead. A prominent defector Jie Seong Ho had said that he was 99 percent sure Kim had died.

The ruling Democratic Party of South Korea criticized him for the carelessness of misinforming people. One party member stated that they should be excluded from the intelligence and defense committees. A senior official of the South Korean government told the reporters that the presidential office does not believe the Supreme Leader had an operation, as per reports.