North Korea: Kim Jong-Il Is Fine, Just Fine

But US intel believes missing dictator is recovering from stroke
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2008 9:02 AM CDT
A South Korean woman reads newspaper reporting on the absence of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept.10, 2008.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – North Korean higher-ups today insisted Kim Jong Il is in fine health, the Washington Post reports, with one diplomat deriding reports to the contrary as a “conspiracy plot.” Kim missed a major military parade yesterday, and hasn’t been seen in more than a month. But though South Korea reports no unusual troop movements or military radio traffic, recent diplomatic twitches on nuclear disarmament, as well as a deal with Japan, might signal power struggles in Pyongyang.

South Korean consensus is that Kim is alive and lucid, but recovering from a serious health problem. US sources suspect he had a stroke on Aug. 14. But ultimately, “we don't know diddly about what is going on inside that closed country,” said one international studies expert.