Efforts to Show Off Kim's Health Raise More Eyebrows

Observers can't tell whether recently released photos are legit
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2008 4:30 PM CST
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, wearing glasses, watches a soccer game between teams of the (North) Korean People's Army.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Recently released photos of Kim Jong-il are baffling observers, who still speculate the North Korean leader may have suffered a stroke despite officials’ insistence otherwise, the New York Times reports. One photo has green foliage, although North Korea’s trees are now sporting autumn colors; in another, Kim’s left hand appears immobile—hinting at a stroke.

Still other photos indicate otherwise, with red-and-gold leaves and an alert, clapping Kim. Either way, the photos point to Kim’s sensitivity to how the rest of the world sees him, analysts say. “The fact that the North is going to such lengths to demonstrate that Kim Jong-il is OK is, ironically, a sign that his health is not normal,” one suggests.