Images released by state broadcaster Korean Central Television (KCTV) also show the 37-year-old leader with a bandage on the back of his head while attending events in late July.
NK News, a specialist news agency covering North Korea, analyzed photos of the events Kim attended between July 24 and 29 from KCTV and state news agency KCNA and highlighted a large, greenish spot or bruise on the back of his head.
In some photos, the spot is covered by a bandage. Official video did not show the back of Kim’s head at the events but it is visible in still images released by state media.
The cause of the spot is not known but it will add to the frequent speculation about Kim’s health. The secretive nature of North Korea means it is extremely difficult to know about the dictator’s state of health.
The spot and bandage were visible when Kim attended a military event between July 24 and 27 and again between July 27 and 29, when he attended a conference for war veterans and other related events.
However, there was no sign of anything unusual on the back of Kim’s head during a meeting of the country’s politburo on June 29 and when he attended an event with musicians on July 11, the back of his head was not shown in photos.
Questions about the dictator’s health have been rife since his rapid weight loss earlier this year prompted a rare acknowledge from state media. KCTV interviewed a man from the country’s capital, Pyongyang, on June 25 about Kim’s weight.
“Seeing our respected comrade General Secretary become emaciated like that, all the people became so heartbroken,” the man told state media. “Everyone is talking about it. We all just started to cry,” the man added.
Renewed speculation about Kim’s health comes as North Korea faces serious difficulties, including the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of food. The country has also been facing a shortage of medicine and medical staff.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that North Korea is releasing its emergency military rice reserves as food shortages and a drought continue to affect the country. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service told a parliamentary committee that Kim’s government is releasing the rice to citizens who have little food as well as laborers and rural state agencies. The rice reserve was intended for use during wartime.