Monday, July 13, 2009
MOSCOW, July 13 (RIA Novosti) – South Korea’s YTN said on Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has pancreatic cancer, while a leading dissident said North Koreans are fleeing the country amid severe food shortages.
The ailing leader has made just two public appearances since reportedly suffering a stroke last August. Most recently Kim was shown on the country’s Central Television on July 8 looking gaunt at a ceremony in Pyongyang to mark the death of his father, Kim Il-sung.
The YTN report, which cited unnamed Chinese and Korean intelligence sources, comes days after Japan’s TBS television said Kim had been diagnosed with a “serious disorder” of the pancreas.
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According to TBS he is receiving treatment at his home in Wonsan, on North Korea’s southeastern coast.
Meanwhile, a prominent North Korean defector and one of the leaders of the Committee for the Democratization of North Korea, told Japanese media that about 300,000 soldiers had been deployed along the border with China to prevent a mass exodus of North Koreans to China due to a severe food shortage in the impoverished communist country.
According to a UN report on North Korea last year, at least 9 million people, or about one third of the population are in desperate need of food aid.
This article was posted: Monday, July 13, 2009 at 4:22 am