Tuesday, Sept 9, 2008
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il collapsed last month, a news report said Tuesday, as foreign observers waited to see whether the reclusive leader would appear at an anniversary parade later in the day.
Kim, 66, is known to suffer from diabetes and heart problems but his health is a closely guarded secret in the hardline communist state.
“An intelligence report was obtained that Defence Commission Chairman Kim Jong-Il collapsed on August 22,” said Seoul’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper, quoting an unidentified official in the South Korean embassy in Beijing.
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The intelligence came from “Chinese sources,” and the embassy was trying to verify it while closely monitoring North Korea, Chosun said.
Kim’s official title is defence commission chairman.
But Chosun said movements by North Korean embassy and trading officials in Beijing did not suggest a major panic over the leader’s health.