Thursday, April 09, 2009

Will the real Kim Jong-il please stand up?

The Times and The Guardian feature the first credible photo of Kim Jong Il in eight months, after months of North Korea publishing various old file photos. This new photo (see left) emerged today of a frail and drawn Kim Jong-il, as the North Korean leader makes his first major public appearance since reportedly suffering a stroke last August.

North Korean state television showed Kim (67) attending an annual meeting of parliament as it rubber-stamped his appointment to a third term as leader of isolated North Korea. Kim had been conspicuously absent from major public events which raised questions about his grip over the country's stability.

Now limping ever so slightly as he arrived to a standing ovation from fellow deputies to the 687-seat Supreme People's Assembly, he returned their applause by clapping, then motioned for them to be seated, footage broadcast on state TV showed.

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