It seems that North Korea might just have another 'mortal' leader despite all the things that Kim Jong-Il claims since he is suffering from diabetes, liver and heart problems as well as constipation. Yesterday, I read an article that confirms Kim Jong-ll received, in mid-May, an emergent heart-bypass, which was performed by a group of doctors who were flown to Pyongyang just for the surgery. Being such a secretive and unknown state such information about Kim Jong-Il's health was actually confirmed by a surgeon who has close ties with North Korea and that "surgery was a success and they (group of doctors who were flown to Pyongyang) came back on the 19th (May)"
-Article were by Japan's weekly magazine, Shukangendai (週間現代)
Though I don't have any intention to ridicule someone's health but I guess Kim Jung-Il too like his father Kim Il-Sung, suffers from heart problems - I'd assume that North Koreans wouldn't be too happy with this article by a Japanese magazine which revealed not only that he had just had a major surgery but also that he suffers from constipation.
Before reading the article, I thought it was too early to ask about the next leader for North Korea but I guess after the heart-bypass, it would be fair to ask the question: "What happens after Kim Jong-Il?" Is it going to be one of his three sons or one of the top party leaders? One thing I don't think will happen is that Kim Jong-Il’s death will collapse the North Korean regime, like people predicted about Kim Il-Sung and his death. I guess being a dictator isn't easy after all - if he is suffering from all those health problems and planning the frequent missile test launches as well as showing up for photo ops. He might just live fine for another ten years but it is interesting to predict North Korea’s future without Kim Jong-Il.
link to original article (it's in Korean) Kim Jong-Il's Health Issues