From the Gallery of Unfortunate North Korean Photo Ops: Jabba at the Gym

Good news: Margaret Chan may have missed the evidence, but at least one North Korean has an obesity problem. Bad news: He just appointed himself National Personal Trainer.

That may be the worst photo op since this one. Or this one.

North Korea’s KCNA state media said Kim was accompanied by his new wife, Ri Sol-ju, and that the exercise centre had been “built according to the direct initiative and plan” of the Young General, as he is known. It added that Kim is “always deeply concerned for the promotion of people’s health and living standards.”

So concerned that he blew enough rice money to feed a small town for a year on a new gym that no one in North Korea but him needs, in the middle of its 18th annual food crisis since his grandpa became North Korea’s largest stockpile of preserved meat.

Kim told the staff that if office workers who work indoors all day, “take exercise and receive medical treatment at the centre, they can devote themselves to revolutionary work in good health.” - The Telegraph, Julian Riall

Can you imagine what it must have been like to be one of the gym staff members, being lectured on fitness and exercise by a morbidly obese man … who showed up in a Mao suit? Suppress your amusement, comrade. Think of your children.

And of course you’re right. This really isn’t funny at all.

Forgive me. If I didn’t laugh, I’d be too depressed to write this and you’d be too depressed to read it. I wonder how many people living outside Pyongyang will ever see that picture.

One comment

  1. Will says:

    What makes it even funnier is the way he had one hand on his gut during the walk-through. It’s as if he’s worried that someone…somewhere…might miss the hilarious irony, so he (subconsciously?) emphasizes it. Maybe someone should send him a copy of the P90X program.

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