Kim Jong Un at the Foodstuff Factory No 354
Kim Jong Un examines biscuits at the Foodstuff Factory No. 354 of the Korean People's ArmyKorean Central News Agency/Reuters

Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Un has piled on the pounds by reportedly gorging on Swiss cheese in a bid to look like his dead grandfather, the country's Eternal President.

Jong-Un is importing vast quantities of Emmental to consume in what is being as reported as a bizarre case of ancestor worship by the podgy dictator in memory of Kim Il-Sung - who founded the Stalinist state.

Observers of the Hermit Kingdom say 31-year-old Jong-Un's weight gain over the past few months has been noticeable, to the extent he was seen looking bloated and walking with a limp at a recent parade.

Jong-Un's ballooning weight has got experts speculating about what it could mean in the isolated state which is rigidly controlled by the ruling family and where a cult of personality grips the 25 million inhabitants.

"North Koreans think being fat is good, unlike South Koreans who want to be skinny. There is a high chance Jong-un intentionally gained weight to look like Il-sung," said Cho Myung-Chul, a defector who fled south of the 39th parallel, to the Mirror.

This theory chimes with societies which also deem weight to be a symbol of wealth and status and where food is often scarce. North Korea was plagued by famine in the years after the breakup of the Soviet Union and mismanagement of the economy by Jong-Un's father, Kim Jong-Il.

The country is still reliant today upon handouts from the international community to feed millions of malnourished people.