Recently released pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un show a new needle mark on his wrist, suggesting that the chairman has recently undergone a surgical procedure. Kim's appearance comes after rumors of his poor health had run rampant in the media, with many reports claiming that he was either in a vegetative state or had died.
Though the new mark on Kim Jong Un's wrist is small, it nevertheless offers some clue as to what befell the 36-year-old leader during his mysterious 21-day absence. According to The New York Post, a U.S. medical expert claimed that the mark was potentially a sign of a cardiovascular procedure, citing, in particular, a right, radial artery puncture.
The procedure is often performed to get an arterial blood sample for gas analysis in the heart -- specifically the partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The balance of these two gases is an important aspect of pulmonary function, and results would give insight into the status of lung function.
That said, it should be noted that other medical experts have disagreed with the assessment.
However, a recent cardiac procedure would be in line with many of the rumors that had previously surfaced around Kim, which had blamed his heart problems as the reason behind his absence. In fact, it was previously reported that a delegation of Chinese doctors had been dispatched to North Korea to help attend to the communist leader.The whispers about a possible heart attack or other complications have not been helped by Kim's lifestyle. The communist leader is known to be a heavy smoker in addition to being clinically obese, two health aspects that dramatically increase the likelihood of cardiac complications. In addition, it has been rumored that he drinks heavily, which is yet another risk factor for heart disease.
Moreover, there is a potential genetic factor at play as well. Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, died of a heart attack back in 2011. The 36-year-old's grandfather, Kim Il Sung -- who was the first communist leader of a divided North Korea -- died of a heart attack as well.
As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, the supreme leader made his first public appearance at a Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer factory on Friday, May 1. Apart from the mysterious new wrist mark, Kim otherwise looked to be in good health.
However, media outlet NK News noted that the photos showed Kim "standing in front of a golf cart." The news website noted that the maneuver was "also seen following his extended disappearance from public view for health reasons in 2014," once again suggesting the Kim had been suffering from health problems.