North Korea aired a cartoon warning against obesity and overeating amid a national food shortage

North Korea aired a cartoon warning against obesity and overeating amid a national food shortage
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  • North Korea TV aired a cartoon addressing obesity as the country runs out of food.

  • In the cartoon, a character tells her chubbier friend she should walk home instead of taking the bus.

  • Meanwhile, Kim Jong Un has reportedly lost dozens of pounds over the last several months.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A North Korean cartoon that aired on state television last week appears to warn kids against obesity and overeating, amid a national food shortage - and as Kim Jong Un himself reportedly shed dozens of pounds.

In a clip from the cartoon, reported Seoul-based journalist Chad O'Carroll from news and analysis site NKNews, two girls are walking on city streets during the winter. One of them chides her chubbier friend for wanting to take the bus home despite her weight, and tells her she should walk instead.

The pair then go to the first girl's house, and the slimmer girl practices acrobatics while her friend snacks and dozes off on a couch. NKNews senior analytic correspondent Colin Zwirko tweeted that the North Korean regime could also be using the cartoon to indicate prosperity in the nation.

This is not the first time cartoons have been employed by the country to direct its citizens. A long-running series called "Squirrel and Hedgehog," aired from the 1970s to 2010s, featured animal characters geared up in military equipment to defend their homeland from invaders. It is widely considered to be military propaganda.

Experts regularly scrutinize North Korean state television, politburo events, and dictator Kim Jong Un himself to gather clues about the secretive regime.

The cartoon coincides with Kim's noticeable weight change. Kim is believed to have lost a substantial amount of weight over the last two months, and state media reported that Pyongyang residents were "heartbroken" over his "emaciated" state. South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) estimated that the typically robust Kim lost over 40 pounds in July, and recent photos of him seem to show that he's slimmed down even more.

In June, Kim said publicly that the country was facing a severe food shortage, and called the situation "tense." Earlier this month, the NIS reported that the regime distributed the military's emergency rice reserves, an indication of how desperate the crisis has become.

Read the original article on Insider