As rumors of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's incapacitation or death continue to swirl, it is being reported that many citizens of the Hermit Kingdom are "secretly elated" by the news that Kim might soon be replaced as chairman of the country.
"There's quite a few people who are secretly elated at the rumors," a source from the North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK.
Part of the elation is reportedly based on an aspect of schadenfreude over Kim's weight. While North Korea often suffers from food shortages where members of the public have gone hungry, the chairman has continued to maintain an obese figure.
"So many North Koreans are suffering from malnutrition that it's unlikely that there are many who feel overly concerned about Kim Jong Un's health," the source added.
"People talk about how fat Kim is among their trusted friends and wonder how he could be so overweight while his people are so thin," he finished.
But it is not just ordinary civilians that are reportedly happy about the possibility in a change of leadership. Another article by Daily NK reported that a different source claimed many in the North Korean elite are ready to change the direction of their country.
Much of the dissatisfaction with current leadership reportedly lies in the fact that the Kim dynasty has long prioritized the quest for military might over quality standards of living.
"Most cadres... with a possible exception of 'people completely loyal' to the regime, want to live comfortably in an economically developed country – regardless of whether North Korea abandons its nuclear weapons or not," the news website summarized.
The source added that a majority of officials in the Hermit Kingdom desire a leader who embodies "knowledge and virtue."
It has long been suggested that many in North Korea have been discontent with the Kim regime, a fact encapsulated by the number of North Koreans who have escaped the country, despite the severe penalties of jail or even death for those caught.
According to Global News, on average more than 1,000 individuals successfully escape each year, though that number may be higher, since many reportedly prefer to keep a low profile about their nationality for safety reasons.
Considering the difficulty of fleeing North Korea, the number of attempted escapes is likely substantially higher.
Meanwhile, information remains scarce about the true nature of Chairman Kim's current condition. As was reported by The Inquisitr, the latest report on his health comes from the Taiwanese intelligence services, which claimed they have proof the leader is currently alive, though very "sick."