Monday, Oct 13, 2008
South Korea says photographs were taken during the summer, fuelling speculation that North Korean leader has had a stroke
Photographs released by North Korea purporting to show Kim Jong-il making a recent public appearance could in fact be months old, reports said today, increasing speculation that the communist state’s leader has suffered a stroke.
North Korean state television broadcast a series of still images on Saturday showing a seemingly healthy Kim inspecting a women’s military unit.
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They were the first supposedly new images of the leader for two months, a period during which he failed to attend some major state events. Both South Korea and US intelligence officials have said they believe the 66-year-old suffered a stroke.
Today, reports in South Korea suggested that the weekend pictures might date from before Kim’s apparent health scare.
The JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said that the lush greenery surrounding the military unit appeared to indicate that the photographs were taken in high summer. “There is little chance they were taken in October,” Lee Eun-joo, a horticulture specialist at Seoul National University, told the paper, according to Reuters.
This article was posted: Monday, October 13, 2008 at 4:03 am