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BREAKING: Kim Jong Il suffers a stroke, is gravely ill?

So we're hearing:

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il may be gravely ill, perhaps the victim of a stroke, U.S. and other Western officials said Tuesday after he failed to appear for a major national parade. If so, it could jeopardize the already troubled international effort to get his nation to abandon nuclear weapons.

Kim's absence from a military parade for the country's 60th anniversary lent credence to reports that the man North Koreans call the "Dear Leader" had been incapacitated during the past few weeks.

The 66-year-old Kim, who has been rumored to be in varying degrees of ill health for years, has not been seen since mid-August. Though he appears rarely in public and his voice is seldom broadcast, Kim has shown up for previous landmark celebrations.

"There is reason to believe Kim Jong Il has suffered a serious health setback, possibly a stroke," one Western intelligence official said. A senior U.S. official said fresh rumors had been circulating about Kim's health and his control over North Korea's highly centralized government.

A former CIA official with recent access to intelligence on North Korea said that even before Tuesday the agency was confident that reports of a health crisis were accurate.

The officials spoke anonymously to summarize sensitive intelligence.


It's still too early to know if this is accurate. But if it is, I honestly don't know how to feel about it.

Thoughts?


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Comments (22)

A bunch of monkeys chained ... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

A bunch of monkeys chained to typewriters could run DPRK better than Dear Leader. "Stroke," my ass. The party took him down.

Leaving Al Sharpton with the sole remaining pompadour on the planet...

well if he's sick, i sure h... (Below threshold)
ken harlow:

well if he's sick, i sure hope it's nothing trivial.

Doesn't he have a son? Coul... (Below threshold)
Chip:

Doesn't he have a son? Could he be worse? Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

How you feel is up to you, ... (Below threshold)

How you feel is up to you, but I bet North Koreans feel pretty good about the impending demise of their "Dear Leader." Most people don't find his nuke program very tasty, now that they're reduced to eating acorns and grass in large part because of lack of the foreign aid they're used to getting.

I'm concerned, actually. W... (Below threshold)

I'm concerned, actually. With Kim Jong Il in place, we had to worry about one megalomaniac with a nuclear arsenal on the Korean peninsula. If he's ill, particularly without an heir apparent, we have to worry about possible multiple maniacs with nuclear arsenals.

This could be a serious pro... (Below threshold)
Tbird:

This could be a serious problem. Those peckerheads are so totally brainwashed that with their "dear leader" at room temperature there's no telling what might happen.

An article ran on JapanTime... (Below threshold)
Big Country:

An article ran on JapanTimes dot com a few weeks ago that one of the "DRPK Watchers" stated that it was his belief that "Dear Leader" (A.K.A. The Gargoyle-Gnome) had been converted to worm food a year or more ago and that the Generals were utilizing his body doubles in order to maintain the status quo. He (the Japanese Professor) was deried pretty hard (I can't remember his name) but it would seem that now they're in the 'prep mode' for announcing the Gargoyle's demise.

Either way the one thing you can count on is the need to 'deprogram' the majority of North Korea and that they (the current hierarchy in DPRK) are aware that disassembling the "Cult of Personality/Godhead" that the "Leaders" had built over the past 60 years is going to be a painful and labor intensive process. Hopefully they decide that a slow 'awakening' is needed rather than a military option.

Baron Von Ottomatic - comme... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baron Von Ottomatic - comment of the day my friend.

I salute you, without a pompadour.

As for Kim Jong Il... I suspect the worms will reject him as good fodder and return to their normal carboard/paper diet.

Hope (or pray) that this wi... (Below threshold)
Clint:

Hope (or pray) that this will clear the way for something glasnostish, rather than something worse.

I certainly don't know enough about North Korea's internal politics to have any idea how this might shake out -- does anyone outside of North Korea?

It's still too ear... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
It's still too early to know if this is accurate. But if it is, I honestly don't know how to feel about it.

Optimistic? Hopeful? How about giddy at the prospect that the evil scum who holds an entire nation in a gulag may soon be dead.

Where's the dilemma?

Isn't a shame when bad thin... (Below threshold)
Brett:

Isn't a shame when bad things happen to bad people?


Little nuggets of good ne... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Little nuggets of good news like this DO brighten one's day.

. Despise him if you will.... (Below threshold)
d.k. allen:

. Despise him if you will... but I don't wish suffering on him. Come on, people - how many vile comments did we hear when Ronald Reagan passed away? Are we going to rehash them now, against *our* enemy?

I hope for the best for NK's people. For all of us who may suffer for NK's instability, I hope NK can get straightened out, one way or another.

I, too, hope for Kim Jong-Il (and his governing appartus) to be replaced with something/someone more helpful to his country, and to his neighbors. I do not deny the evil inherent there-in.

Nevertheless, I cannot wish the worst upon the person. I don't want to, and I refuse to.

The question is, does "stro... (Below threshold)
DLJessup:

The question is, does "stroke" mean "brain attack" or "coup"? ("Coup" literally translates as "stroke" from the French.)

Come on, people - how ma... (Below threshold)

Come on, people - how many vile comments did we hear when Ronald Reagan passed away? Are we going to rehash them now, against *our* enemy?

Did you just compare a tyrannical, murderous, insane dictator to Reagan? Seriously? (And those adjectives aren't just rhetoric, the guy's record is pretty well documented, right down to his freaky porn stash, strange drinking habits, and nasty habit of counterfeiting millions of our dollars.) Way to be morally equivalent.

I don't have any desire for vengeance against him, in spite of all the people he's directly and indirectly killed, but I'm certainly not going to pretend to have any regret at his death. On the contrary, I rejoice for his people, who will have a chance, however slim (unlike their distended bellies), at survival and maybe someday even good government.

If it's true, I don't even ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

If it's true, I don't even WANT to think about the power vacuum and innevitable power grab and/or hostilities that will ensue.

Then again, maybe someone will step up and lead North Korea back "into the light", if you will.

He does have a son, who pre... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

He does have a son, who prefers the spend his time gambling in Macau to hanging out in that gravel pit of a country his father has raped. While it's good that Kim Jong-Il is perhaps out of power, it is worrisome that there stands to be a power vacuum with a lot of weaponry (possibly nuclear and certainly chemical/biological) involved. Hopefully some of his generals managed to maintain their sanity while spending their entire lives licking that little fuckwit's designer boots...

Good Lord, mark the time an... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Good Lord, mark the time and day... I agree with hyperbolist!!!

"Did you just compare a tyr... (Below threshold)
d.k. allen:

"Did you just compare a tyrannical, murderous, insane dictator to Reagan? Seriously?"

Did you just turn my comment on it's head to reveal your own lack of ability to read and comprehend at the same time? Seriously?

No, d.k., I didn't turn you... (Below threshold)

No, d.k., I didn't turn your comment on it's head. You suggested "vile" comments about Kim Jong Il, which are entirely deserved since the guy is an insane dictator, are like the unhinged leftist celebrations of Reagan's death, who was merely a political opponent and undeserving of that level of vitriol.

I was clearly comparing com... (Below threshold)
d.k. allen:

I was clearly comparing commenters to commenters, not dictators to leaders. In that sense, yes, you did turn my comment upside down, and no amount of tortured word-wrangling can justify it, or make it anything other than what it was.

I do not disagree with any of the descriptions (given here, or elsewhere) of the evil which Kim Jong Il has visited upon his people, or to the world around him. I will be glad for him to be out of power, and hopeful that NK can finally extract themselves from the repressive communist hell to which they've been subjected. As I indicated in my original comment.

I merely point out that we can celebrate the passing of an evil reign, without wishing extreme degrees of pain and suffering on the person. If in the end, such a person (see Saddam, demise thereof) requires dispatch, so be it -- but let it be quick, so that the world can move on.

I did not say the vile comments were not deserved. I merely hoped that we would find ourselves somewhat above engaging in the personal, in light of the events of the political.

I was wrong - even about myself.

There is a clear and vast difference between the stature, the morals, and the accomplishments of the two men - Reagan and Kim.

It is getting difficult to find similar differences between the hoi polloi of the left and of the right.

After serving as a Korean l... (Below threshold)

After serving as a Korean linguist, atop mountains on islands on the Korean DMZ, I observe that Kim does indeed rape his whole nation, and although I WISH him no ill, I am LONG past pitying him...

The positive, freeing, EATING and LIVING possibilities are so potent now if Kim dies, that I cheer for the wretched, enslaved North Koreans, their good fortune.

No absolutes (except Kim's death) but we're approaching a cusp!




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