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  1. ITV Report

Kim Jong-un's discomfort 'down to cheese addiction'

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been looking more portly lately. Photo: North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has not stepped out in public for weeks, with his officials citing an "uncomfortable physical condition".

But now rumours are circulating that the 31-year-old's weakness for cheese is to blame for a debilitating spell of gout which has rendered him immobile.

His last public appearance was on September 3, when he was spotted with a limp.

South Korean news agencies claim he also suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

Could the dictator be a secret Stilton fan? Credit: Tim Ireland/PA

Kim's grandfather Kim Il-sung reportedly had gout, which is a type of arthritis.

It can affect any joints but is most common in the big toe.

Diet can also play a big part, with alcohol and rich foods being the main culprits.

Gout is more common in men and attacks, which usually last between five and 15 days, can go away on their own.

But if left untreated it can lead to kidney stones and cardiovascular disease.

North Korean state media would not confirm the reports.