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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is Kim Jong-il for real?

North Korea reported Sunday 15th Nov 2008 that its leader Kim Jong-Il ,66, has made another public appearance in a military art performance ailing to state when and where the performance took place. Kim's health is the subject of intense speculation because he has not publicly nominated a successor -- as his father had done more than 20 years before his death in 1994 -- to run the impoverished, nuclear-armed state. North Korean state media have recently issued a series of still undated photos of Kim in public, in an apparent attempt to end the swirling speculation about his health. Some Seoul officials and North Korea experts say Jang Song-Taek, Kim's brother-in-law, has become more powerful since Kim fell sick, with some believing he is effectively standing in for the supreme leader. Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso said earlier this month that Kim was probably in hospital but still capable of making decisions.

North Korea has released photos of its leader(Video), Kim Jong-Il, in apparent good health and watching a football match. There has being an intense speculation about Kim's health since he failed to appear a key celebration marking the country's 60th birthday on Sept. 9. Photos released in October,2008 showing a healthy-looking Kim inspecting a military unit appeared outdated, with lush greenery in the background at a time when the entire Korean peninsula is awash in autumnal foliage. Also North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has missed the funeral of a top party leader, former vice president Pak Song-Chol on Thursday 30th October,2008.

Video-02 Nov 2008 NKorea releases photos of Kim in bid to quash health rumours
In one of the photos disclosed by the ministry here, Kim sat smiling on a sofa inside a glass structure wearing his trademark sunglasses, while his full cheeks and bouffant hair looked the same as usual. Kim, 66, is widely thought to have suffered a stroke in mid-August 2008. Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso said this week he is probably in hospital, but still capable of making decisions.

A veteran Japanese expert on North Korea says the “dear leader” is actually dead of diabetes in 2003 – and Kim Jong-il role is played by a double. World leaders including Vladimir Putin of Russia and Hu Jintao of China have been negotiating with an impostor.
North Korea's official news agency released this picture of the leader in April (Korea News Service/Reuters)
Is this him or a lookalike in 2007? (Korea News Service/Reuters)
During a massive military parade in the country in April 2002 (Katsumi Kasahara/AP)
Listening to the then-Russian President Vladimir Putin at Vladivostok in August 2002 (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)
Laying a wreath at the Piskaryovskoye cemetery, to pay homage to hundreds of thousands of people who died during the WWII siege of St.Petersburg, in August 2001 (Anatoly Maltsev/EPA)

Kim, fearing assassination, had groomed up to four lookalikes to act as substitutes at public events. Now, the expert claims, the actors are brought on stage whenever required to persuade the masses that Kim is alive.

Professor Toshimitsu Shigemura’s bestselling book The True Character of Kim Jong-il, cites sources from inside North Korea and from the intelligence services of Japan and South Korea has one of its principal claims is that a voiceprint analysis of Kim’s speech at a 2004 meeting with Junichiro Koizumi, then the Japanese prime minister, did not match an authenticated earlier recording. His book traces Kim’s supposed demise to autumn 2003 when he vanished for about 42 days. Kim’s poor health has been the subject of speculation for decades. The book argues that no substantive policy decisions have been taken since North Korea joined nuclear disarmament talks in 2003.

Kim changed appearance (before and after his supposed death) had been noted by South Korean analysts who attended two summits with Kim. The difference in looks was taken as him having lost weight, quit smoking, given up cognac in favour of red bordeaux and coaxed the rest of the politburo onto a health kick. VIA

Kim Jong-il, "Dear Leader" of North Korea since 1994. The son of the communist state's "Great Leader", Kim Jong-il has super-expensive tastes, with 17 palaces, and collections of hundreds of cars and about 20,000 video tapes. On one state visit to Russia, he reportedly had live lobsters airlifted daily to his armoured private train. He is believed to spend around $650,000 a year on Hennessy VSOP cognac and maintains an entourage of young lovelies known as the "Pleasure Brigade"

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