Saturday, June 09, 2007

Kim Jong-Il's Health Problems

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


Sang said...
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Sang said...

I just read a news article about his health issue too, saying that he can't even walk more than 30 meters (about 32yard) by himself, and has to accompany assistances with small chair!

Ally said...

Excellent point. I wonder how many North Koreans are wondering the same thing. If Kim Il-Sung is the eternal leader, what happens with Kim Jong-Il dies? What does that make him? And who will take his place? I hadn't thought of that myself, but my bet is that it would be one of his own sons. If that is true, what would differentiate This pattern from an absolute monarchy (Kings often argues they held "Divine Right" over their subjects).

julienne said...

I can't believe that hereditary succession would continue. this seems so backwards even for North Korea. If one of Kim's sons does not take over then who will it be? Perhaps this could lead to the downfall of North Korea.

Min said...

I guess the nightmare outcome by the death of Kim Jong-Il for many around the world is that, like what professor had mentioned during class, that some ambitious military dictator take over the regime... with ambition of reunifying Korea with "whatever it takes" kind of attitude.

His three sons -eldest with this thing with gambling and amusement parks, youngest nowhere to be seen- I guess it is hard call for even the most educated about North Korea