Did North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-Un undergo plastic surgery?

January 16, 2012

Did North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-Un undergo plastic surgery?
Did North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-Un undergo plastic surgery?

Since the longtime leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Il, passed away in mid-December, the media has been speculating about what will happen in the hermetic country's future. Little is known about Kim's successor, Kim Jong-Un, the youngest of the deceased’s three sons. Despite the dearth of information about his personal life, rumors about Kim Jong-Un are still flying, including a rather surprising suggestion that the young leader has undergone plastic surgery to appear more like his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung according to The Telegraph.

Kim Il-Sung was the leader of a revolution and the first member of the current dynasty ruling North Korea. Though he passed away long ago, the level of importance placed on the first ruler of North Korea explains why the newest leader would want to emphasize his familial relation with Kim Il-Sung.

According to the news source, the capital city of North Korea, Pyongyang, aims to present the new leader as a "reincarnation of North Korea's late founder."

Looking at images of Kim Jong-Un, the resemblance to his grandfather is undeniable. They share the same pudgy cheeks and downturned mouth. However, photographs of the new leader as a teen show a skinny boy who looks little like his grandfather. Does this mean Kim Jong-Un changed his appearance through cosmetic surgery?

"A lot of people in South Korea have pointed out that Kim's face is very different from when he was young, particularly the shape of his chin," Toshimitsu Shigemura, an author of a number of books about North Korea, told the news source. "From previous photos, everyone has remarked that he looked nothing like his grandfather, so the change is quite dramatic."

While most individuals who undergo plastic surgery wouldn't opt to make their cheeks larger, patients seeking out procedures to help them look like a celebrity they admire is nothing new.

Those who are considering plastic surgery to improve their looks should always discuss their expectations with a board-certified plastic surgeon, according to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. A qualified doctor can inform patients which procedures would best help them achieve their desired results.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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