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 North Korea's Kim 'has collapsed'

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gaboman

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PostSubject: North Korea's Kim 'has collapsed'   Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:25 pm

North Korea's Kim 'has collapsed'

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, "almost certainly" has health problems, a South Korean government official has told the country's Yonhap news agency.

The official said Mr Kim had collapsed, but did not say when or how serious his condition was. He said he had not died.

But a North Korea official denied the reports, calling them "worthless".

The reclusive leader failed to appear at a triumphant military parade on Tuesday in the capital, Pyongyang, to celebrate his state's 60th anniversary.

Earlier, Western intelligence officials said Kim Jong-il might have suffered a stroke.

According to the latest South Korean report, the illness is "not serious enough to threaten his life".

"It seems that he had intended to attend the 9 September event in the afternoon but decided not to because of the aftermath of the surgery," Yonhap quoted the official as saying.

Conspiracy claim

The North Korean official, North Korea's ambassador handling relations with Japan, said reports describing Kim Jong-il as ill were a "conspiracy" by Western media, Japan's Kyodo News reported from Pyongyang.

"We see such reports as not only worthless, but rather as a conspiracy plot," Song Il-ho was reported as saying.

It was Pyongyang's first reaction to recent reports that the North Korean leader was ill.

"I believe the aim is to form a public opinion on something that is not true. Western media have reported falsehood before," Song said, as quoted by Kyodo News.

Abnormal Indications

South Korean news agency Yonhap also reported that South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Wednesday convened an unscheduled meeting with his senior secretaries to discuss the health of the North Korean leader.

"Lee discussed countermeasures to a possible serious illness of the North Korean leader during his unscheduled meeting with senior presidential secretaries," a source at the presidential office said.

"The president and his senior aides discussed all abnormal indications from North Korea, as the North's situation appears to be serious following Kim Jong-il's absence from a high-profile founding anniversary parade on Tuesday," the source was reported by Yonhap as saying.

A ranking intelligence officer from the Office of the President in Seoul said a number of "unusual goings-on" had been detected in North Korea, but the exact health conditions of the North Korean leader remained unclear, Yonhap reported.

The BBC's John Sudworth, in the South Korean capital Seoul, says rumours were already rife about his well-being before the rally.

But Mr Kim's absence from the parade - he was not seen in any of the TV coverage of the event - will prompt further speculation, especially given the symbolic importance of the anniversary.

This is especially the case, our correspondent says, given that Mr Kim oversaw similarly triumphant occasions for North Korea's 50th and 55th anniversaries.

'Largest ever'

The anniversary comes amid an impasse in international efforts to urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme.

On Monday, state-run television channel KRT showed footage of the North's cabinet holding a large indoor gathering to mark the anniversary.

The cabinet released a statement, picked up by monitors in Seoul, saying that North Korea had a powerful army that would "mercilessly punish invaders".

According to South Korean media, the main parade on Tuesday was to be the largest ever staged by its northern neighbour.

"The North probably wants to boost the image of its military might in order to cement unity within the country and secure a better position in the denuclearisation negotiations," a South Korean government source told JoongAng Ilbo newspaper.

The future direction of North Korea is tightly linked to the personality of the country's reclusive leader.

Mr Kim has not been seen in public since early last month, giving rise to speculation he could be seriously unwell.

Mr Kim has been known to disappear from public view for extended periods before, and has always returned eventually, but this time the rumours of ill health have been given added impetus by news that a team of Chinese doctors was recently summoned to examine him.

Food shortages

The celebrations are taking place amid rising tensions between Pyongyang and the international community.

North Korea agreed in February 2007 to give up its nuclear ambitions in return for aid and diplomatic concessions, but the progress of the deal has been far from smooth.

After a long delay, Pyongyang handed over details of its nuclear facilities in June 2008.

In return, it expected the US to remove it from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, which the US has yet to do, so the North now appears to be starting to reassemble its main nuclear plant.

Meanwhile the World Food Programme estimates that North Korea is suffering from a serious food shortage.

The North has relied on foreign assistance to help feed its 23 million people since its state-controlled economy collapsed in the mid-1990s.




Who is Kim Jong-il?

- N Korea's "Dear Leader" is a reclusive character, at centre of an elaborate personality cult
- Succeeded his father Kim Il-sung, founder of North Korea, who died in 1994
- Mr Kim is seen in the West as both a master manipulator, and delusional madman
- He has a reputation as a drinker, a playboy and a hypochondriac

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PostSubject: Re: North Korea's Kim 'has collapsed'   Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:34 am

assuming he is alive ( and I believe he is) he must be in a pretty bad way a rally of this size and importance is major thing in the North you don miss it because you stubbed your toe that morning or you have a cold, I am going on the assumption that he is so il that he cannot be dumped in a wheelchair and pushed to the event.
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PostSubject: Re: North Korea's Kim 'has collapsed'   Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:54 am

I also assume he's still alive, but he's probably in a bad way. His health hasn't been good for quite a while. I believe he's diabetic, and has a few other ailments (heart condition? I can't quite remember, but it was something serious).


I guess his nutbag son will take over once he's dead. Just what the world needs...

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PostSubject: Re: North Korea's Kim 'has collapsed'   Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:56 am

I believe it was confirmed that he had a stroke.

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