Kim Jong-un attended the completion ceremony of a major housing project in Pyongyang on Wednesday. The project, which boasts of 10,000 units including an 80-story building, is situated on a scenic bank of the Pothong River built as a monumental edifice to mark North Korea’s development towards the supreme leader’s grandiose plan for national prosperity.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, the Pothong Riverside Terraced Residential District was completed in time to coincide with the Day of the Sun, a national holiday to commemorate the 110th anniversary of Kim Il Sung.

The ceremony was celebrated with much splendor with a roster of distinguished North Korean officials with Kim Jong-un as the guest of honor. Kim, who also sits as the general secretary of the Worker’s Party of Korea and President of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was greeted with thunderous cheers as a display of fireworks welcomed him as he arrived at the ceremonial venue.

A video released by the state media showed Kim puffing on a cigarette looking much like his old chubby self despite having lost a good amount of weight over the past few months. The video obtained by Daily Mail captures the leader unable to conceal his protruding belly as he is seen chatting with generals during the celebration while smoking a cigarette despite having passed a tough law 18 months ago banning smoking in public places.

Observers were quick to spot the dictator’s chubby look as speculations honed in on the idea that Kim had fallen off the weight-loss wagon. Last December, the usually chubby leader appeared to carry a gaunt look, firing even more talk about his state of health after he disappeared from public view for several months last year. He later returned to the public eye looking nearly emaciated. The state media highlighted his weight loss as the leader’s effort to show solidarity with his people who have been grappling with severe food shortages.

Kim was said to have been eating less for the sake of the country although many continue to raise their eyebrows as to whether his sudden weight loss was deliberate or the result of an illness.

A man walks past a television report showing a news broadcast with file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
A man walks past a television report showing a news broadcast with file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after a intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was launched earlier in the day, at a railway station in Seoul on March 24, 2022. - North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on March 24, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said, the first time Pyongyang has launched such a powerful weapon since 2017. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

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