Kim Jong-un seen talking to body doubles in 2017 video reignites conspiracy theory about hiding his death
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was once spotted chatting away with two lookalikes who were identically dressed.
Newly uncovered footage has now sparked a fresh wave of conspiracy theories that a body double was used to claim he is alive and well, according to the New York Post.
Discovered by The Sun, the July 2017 footage shows the dictator flaunting a new missile while engaging in conversation with his doppelgangers.
The British paper noted how the pair appeared to be of the same height and size, with identically cut hair shaved at the back and sides to imitate Kim's signature style. Furthermore, they also wore suits perfectly matching the outfit of their leader.
According to the International Business Times, it is a "well-known fact" that Kim, 36, has used body doubles to protect himself against assassination attempts -- and the footage only strengthens the claims.
Earlier this week, speculation was rife that Kim's appearance at a ribbon-cutting ceremony was actually that of a body double in order to dispel reports that he was in a vegetative state or even dead.
Conspiracy theories across the internet went wild with claims that there were clear facial, hairline, as well as dental discrepancies in comparison to his earlier public appearances.
Human rights activist Jennifer Zeng was the first to point out the dissimilarities between the two “versions” of Kim, marking the differences in their teeth and ears.
"Is the Kim Jong-un appearing on May 1 the real one?” she asked as she shared a side-by-side comparison of Kim’s “old and new” pictures at different events.
Shortly after Zeng pointed out the difference, several others also shared side-by-side photos of the leader, highlighting the differences between the two "versions."
Former British Member of Parliament Louise Mensch also shared the comparative images on Twitter, writing: "Don’t know, don’t care. See no reason to alter my earlier stance. These aren’t the same man."
However, the comparison photos were mostly brushed aside by those saying they may have been doctored to push the conspiracy idea.
Reports of Kim's ill health or possible death emerged last month after a South Korean outlet, Daily NK, claimed that Kim had undergone a cardiovascular system procedure in Pyongyang on April 12 because of "excessive smoking, obesity and overworking."
Days after Kim reappeared after his disappearance, a former Pyongyang diplomat issued an apology for speculating that the dictator was probably so ill he could not stand.
Former deputy ambassador to Britain and one of the defectors, Thae Yong-ho, issued an apology on Monday, May 4, for his claims about Kim's health.
"I am aware that one of the reasons why many of you voted for me as a lawmaker is that I would make an accurate analysis and projections on North Korean issues," he said in a statement.
"I feel the blame and heavy responsibility. Whatever the reasons, I apologize to everyone," he went on. Thae was elected to the South Korea parliament last month, the Guardian reported.
Kim's health came under scrutiny after he gave a miss to an annual visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun for the 108th birthday of his late grandfather, state founder Kim Il-sung on April 15.