Sky News 
Wednesday, Sept 10, 2008
A North Korean diplomat has denied reports that leader Kim Jong Il is seriously sick and accused the West of a “conspiracy plot”.
The reclusive 66-year-old did not attend a military parade for the country’s 60th anniversary, leading to speculation that he had collapsed or suffered a stroke.
But the rumours have been described as “worthless” by Song Il Ho, North Korea’s ambassador for normalisation talks with Japan.
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“We see such reports as not only worthless, but rather as a conspiracy plot,” he told Japan’s Kyodo News agency.
US and other Western officials believe that Kim’s absence from the country’s 60th anniversary celebrations support suggestions in the last few weeks that his health is failing.
A South Korean government official said he had collapsed and is almost certainly ill, while a US intelligence official said he may have suffered a stroke.